What is a thermogram?
A: A thermogram is a radiation-free screening method that uses an infrared camera and computer software to measure and compare temperature abnormalities in the breasts. The software creates a breast “map” to look for signs of developing breast cancer by recognizing which parts of the breast are generating higher temperatures. The rationale is that increased temperature is found in areas with increased blood flow, and that may indicate a tumor. Thermograms have become somewhat popular in the past few years as there is no radiation and no compression utilized in this particular test. Unfortunately, many people have also replaced mammograms for thermograms exclusively using them as a screening tool. Thermograms are notoriously known to have a high rate of false positives. And in some studies, it is noted to miss up to 30% of breast cancers. This is not an acceptable test to solely screen for breast cancer. Mammograms are still considered the gold standard screening tool and should not be dismissed or replaced by thermography.