Study performed by The American Society of Breast Surgeons at The Department of Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell, New York, NY
Digital infrared thermal imaging—DITI– has resurfaced in this era of modernized computer technology.
In this clinical trial, 92 patients for whom a breast biopsy was recommended based on prior mammogram or ultrasound underwent DITI. The results showed 60 of 94 biopsies were malignant and 34 were benign. DITI identified 58 of 60 malignancies, with 97% sensitivity.
Conclusion: DITI is a valuable adjunct to mammography and ultrasound, especially in women with dense breast tissue. DITI is painless, noninvasive, does not emit harmful radiation, has no patient risk, provides immediate results, and is relatively inexpensive compared to MRI. Patients who could stand to benefit from this technology are those whose diagnosis of breast cancer can be difficult, including younger women, men, patients with dense breasts, or patients with surgically altered breasts (implants, breast reduction).
“20% or 1 in 5 cancers can be missed by mammography.”
“…any level of radiation can cause cancer…it is ironic that ionizing radiation is our best screening tool now for 50 years”
“The largest risk for having a false-positive mammogram was the individual radiologist’s tendency to read the test as abnormal. This uncertainty can lead to false-positives and negative biopsies at an alarming rate of 80%.”
A study conducted by Dr. William Hobbins, MD at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center concluded two interesting facts.
1) Thermography had 10 times the yield as compared to a family history of breast cancer. This is quite remarkable. As family history is an undeniable risk factor for breast cancer development and is universally accepted by physicians one would think that a university study demonstrating 10 times the sensitivity for thermography would be accepted as valid.
2) In many cases an isolated abnormal thermogram (this is a thermogram demonstrating suspicious findings not correlated by mammography) was followed for many years utilizing thermography for changes associated with cancer development. In many of these cases, mammography and resulting biopsy was positive, as much as 8-10 years later in the exact area the thermogram predicted that a cancer might be present.