Thermography is a noninvasive test that uses an infrared camera to detect blood flow and heat just below the breast’s surface. Some health spas, mobile screening units, and other facilities market thermography as a screening test for breast cancer even though there’s no evidence that it’s a useful tool and it hasn’t been approved for this use.
In February 2019, the FDA issued a warning that thermography is not an alternative to mammography for breast cancer screening and could miss early breast cancers. Thermography should never be used in place of a mammogram for screening.
This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.