A better way to check for inflammatory breast cancer

An HSI member named Rosel caught something I missed in the e-alert “Lives Will Be Saved” (3/12/09), about inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

Rosel writes: “In regard to the IBC story: You left out the most important point! Inflammatory breast cancer is very easily detected by thermography – which reads changes in temperature within the breast. IBC is characterized by an increase in temperature, so thermography is the ideal diagnostic tool. And there’s no radiation involved. Remind your readers to get a yearly thermogram instead of a mammogram!”

Excellent point. And I should have caught it because I first told you about thermography as a mammogram alternative nearly six years ago.

Thermography is also known as digital infrared imaging (DII) – not to be confused with digital mammography – a new technique that uses digital technology to create an image on a computer screen, but still exposes the patient to potentially harmful doses of radiation.

Thermography is a non-invasive procedure that uses infrared cameras (no compression or radiation) to detect patterns of temperature change in tissue. You can find more information about thermography and locate thermography centers near you on two websites: The International Academy of Clinical Thermology (iact-org.org), and the American College of Clinical Thermology (thermologyonline.org).