Thermal imaging breast cancer screenings not misleading women

The Bristol pharmacy hosting thermal imaging breast cancer screenings, on Wednesday, wants to reassure women they are not misleading them.

“It was never intended to be better than a mammogram or replace a mammogram, but to be used in conjunction with and the studies and the literature look really promising when both are used together,” Anderson Compounding Pharmacy Women’s Health Specialist and Clinical Pharmacist Dera Stalnaker said. “Women should continue to get their mammograms just as they always have. (Thermal imaging has) been FDA approved since 1982 as an add-on to mammography, so both are helpful. Both serve a purpose, just in different ways.”

Monday we told you about concerns regarding Anderson Compounding Pharmacy’s advertising for Wednesday’s thermal imaging screenings. Thermal imaging looks for heat to find aggressive cancers, whereas mammograms use X-rays. Unlike mammograms, thermal imaging does not involve radiation or touching.

“Thermograms will use infrared readings, kind of like a weather map, so it’s using heat as opposed to compression or radiation,” she said. “It looks for different things within the breast, whereas a mammogram will look for structural changes, a thermogram actually will look for new blood vessel growth or heat going to a certain area that can signify an abnormality or a tumor. So it’s looking at it from a different perspective than a mammogram. It’s never meant to replace a mammogram and we have never said that thermograms should replace a mammogram. That should be used as an add-on or in conjunction with.”

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