North Coast women are being warned against using thermal imaging products as a way of attempting to diagnose breast abnormalities.
The products, which are not recommended by cancer experts, were recently spotted being sold in a Tweed Heads shopping centre.
Jane Walsh from BreastScreen NSW says the products are expensive and unreliable. The only proven, high-quality screening method that can detect breast cancer before symptoms develop is the mammogram, Ms Walsh said.
‘Women aged between 50 and 69 should be having a mammogram every two years to ensure breast cancer can be detected accurately and early. It is alarming to think north coast women may be relying on expensive thermography for such a crucial diagnosis,’ said Jane Walsh.
Professor David Currow, chief cancer officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW said, ‘mammograms are safe and the latest digital technology used by BreastScreen NSW means there is minimal exposure to radiation while still achieving a high-quality x-ray’.
Ms Walsh further explained the BreastScreen process to reassure women who may be reluctant to participate.
‘When you have a mammogram at BreastScreen NSW, two scans are taken of each breast by one of our specialist female radiographers. Your scans are then read by two independent radiologists who each examine the x-ray images, ensuring the highest quality and most accurate reading possible. Your results are then sent to your GP, with your permission, and you are either given the all-clear or, if any abnormalities are detected, you have further tests to make sure your diagnosis is completely accurate and the best treatment can be determined.’