Thermography plus Mammography; a new recommendation?

There is discussion starting in the medical world about the possibility of improved pick-up of  abnormal breast tissue and DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ or pre-cancer) with the addition of thermography together with mammography.  Thermography is a non-compression scan of the breast which focuses on the heat signature of the tissue scanned, showing increased blood supply to that area as an abnormal finding.  This can then be correlated with a mammogram for improved pick-up of disease and hopefully an earlier diagnosis of pre-cancer vs cancer.  However, this discussion is in its very preliminary phase with no organization making any recommendations at this time.  Presently, Thermography is available but usually not covered by most insurance plans.  The current recommendation for breast surveillance remains, mammography screening age 40, then every 1-2 years to age 50, then annually.  Most research or RCT’s (Randomly Controlled Trials) are done with Mammography as the validated tool; there are too few RCT’s on Thermography to make a recommendation for Thermography alone for breast surveillance. Could there be a time in the future that Thermography could be a first line screening tool with mammography used as a further diagnostic? The jury is out, but the opinion by most women of  having one less mammogram that compresses the breast would be a “painfully” easy and obvious choice to make.

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