Mammography and thermography are two types of imaging techniques used in breast cancer screening. While both tests are used to detect breast abnormalities, they differ in the way they work and the information they provide.
Mammography is an imaging test that uses low-dose X-rays to create detailed images of the breast tissue. During the test, the breast is compressed between two plates, and an X-ray machine takes images from different angles. The images are then analyzed by a radiologist to detect any abnormal masses or calcifications that may be indicative of breast cancer.
Thermography, on the other hand, is a non-invasive test that uses infrared imaging to detect heat patterns in the breast tissue. The idea behind thermography is that cancer cells generate more heat than healthy cells, so areas of the breast with abnormal heat patterns may indicate the presence of breast cancer. During the test, a special camera is used to capture the heat patterns of the breast tissue, which are then analyzed by a medical professional.
While mammography and thermography both aim to detect abnormalities in the breast tissue, they differ in their accuracy and limitations. Mammography is considered the gold standard for breast cancer screening because it can detect small calcifications that may not be visible on a thermogram. However, mammography has limitations in women with dense breast tissue, as dense breast tissue can make it difficult to detect small masses or calcifications.
Thermography, on the other hand, can detect changes in the breast tissue earlier than mammography, as it can detect changes in heat patterns before structural changes occur. Thermography is also a good option for women with dense breast tissue or breast implants, as it does not involve radiation exposure and is not affected by breast density.
In conclusion, mammography and thermography are two different imaging techniques used in breast cancer screening. While mammography is considered the gold standard for breast cancer screening, thermography can be a useful adjunct to mammography, particularly in women with dense breast tissue or breast implants. It is important to discuss the benefits and limitations of each test with your healthcare provider to determine the best screening approach for you.