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Breast Cancer Screening – A Multi-Modality Approach

When it comes to breast cancer detection, unfortunately, there are no silver bullet solutions. While mammogram is the most widely used tool for breast cancer screening, it is far from perfect and does not work equally effectively for all women. Clinicians are now using multiple tools together to detect breast cancer more effectively and quickly, realizing the benefits of a 'multi-modality' approach.

Thermography is sometimes misrepresented as a replacement to mammograms, when in fact it is complementary to the process of breast cancer detection, which includes mammograms, clinical breast exam or other tests. For example, NoTouch BreastScan can be offered to women who have been confirmed to have dense breasts on mammograms or women under 40 years of age who have not started receiving routine mammograms but are at risk for breast cancer or are concerned about breast cancer; these are some of the ways in which NoTouch BreastScan can help clinicians and women increase the possibility to detect breast cancer. Please visit the Am I at risk? section to learn if NoTouch BreastScan is suitable for you.

Recent Clinical Evaluations and Accuracy

In 2011-12, a clinical study was performed to assess "does infrared thermography predict the presence of malignancy in patients with suspicious radiologic breast abnormalities". Women, who were about to receive breast biopsy following an abnormal mammogram, were sent in for a NoTouch BreastScan exam. In this study, NoTouch BreastScan detected early stage, biopsy confirmed breast cancer cases with an accuracy of 87% [1]. NoTouch BreastScan also correctly identified almost half of all the women (47%) who had an abnormal mammogram but a normal biopsy showing no signs of malignancy. Here is the list of breast cancers NoTouch BreastScan detected in this study including type, stage and tumor size information.

Multiple large-scale, multi-year clinical studies would have to be performed to understand the long-term benefits of breast infrared imaging. In fact, after more than several decades of its use, mammography is still being debated about its benefits and whether it really saves lives [2].

What About False Alarms?

Every imaging test is prone to have false alarms. In fact, in the space of adjunctive breast caner screening, ultrasound and MRI, both carry a fairly high rate of false alarms [3]. To ensure that the finding is truly a false alarm and not actual breast cancer, doctors recommend breast biopsy and in majority of the cases, no malignancy is found.

NoTouch BreastScan is slightly different in this area. While it too makes false alarms, required follow-up to the NoTouch BreastScan exam would be a diagnostic ultrasound or MRI as opposed to biopsy, giving women an additional option, an extra layer of protection and invaluable peace of mind.

A recent survey conducted by the 'Are You Dense' advocacy group revealed that 93% of participants would choose to have additional screening if they were informed of the presence of dense breast tissue, even if this additional screening produced false alarms [4].

We are constantly improving our technology along with software algorithms to reduce false alarms and to improve the overall efficacy of NoTouch BreastScan to detect breast cancer. Please do not hesitate to contact us by Phone or Email if you would like to discuss NoTouch BreastScan in further detail or if you would like us to clarify something that you do not understand.

How is NoTouch BreastScan different from conventional IR Imaging?

Clinical Thermography or Clinical Infrared (IR) Imaging is a procedure that detects, records, and produces images of skin surface temperatures and thermal patterns. IR imaging of the breast provides information on the 'physiologic functioning' of the sensory and sympathetic nervous systems, vascular systems, and local inflammatory processes. In recent history, several clinical publications have explored the utility of thermal imaging for breast cancer detection [5].

Much like ultrasound or MRI, clinical thermography can be complementary to mammography to aid early stage breast cancer detection. Clinical thermography, without physical contact or radiation is able to provide a unique physiological 'point of view' not visible through any other sensing mechanisms such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance or x-ray. The infrared sensors are not biased against dense breast tissue hence making it a potentially very useful screening test for young women and those with dense breasts.

NoTouch BreastScan is the latest advancement in the field of clinical infrared imaging. It is designed to harness the power of state-of-the-art infrared imaging sensor technology and latest computer software algorithms, offering an easy to use and easy to report medical device for women of all ages, race, ethnicities and demographics. Three clinical studies have been conducted to examine the clinical efficacy of this tool to detect breast cancer [6].

NoTouch BreastScan is the first and only FDA cleared computerized digital infrared imaging system for breast cancer detection incorporating the following novel features:



1. May 2012, "Does infrared thermography predict the presence of malignancy in patients with suspicious radiologic breast abnormalities?"
2., Jul 17 2012, "JNCI study revives debate over mammography's mortality benefit".
3. April 4, 2012, "Ultrasound screening finds more breast cancer, false positives may outweigh that benefit". Detection of breast cancer with addition of annual screening ultrasound or a single screening MRI to mammography in women with elevated breast cancer risk. Journal of the American Medical Association.
4. August 13, 2012 "AHRA: Breast density tracking here to stay". Are You Dense Advocacy Group.
5. The American Journal of Surgery (2008) 196, 523–526; Effectiveness of a noninvasive digital infrared thermal imaging system in the detection of breast cancer. AJR:180, January 2003; Efficacy of Computerized Infrared Imaging Analysis to Evaluate Mammographically Suspicious Lesions.
6. May 2012, does infrared thermography predict the presence of malignancy in patients with suspicious radiologic breast abnormalities? May 2010, the accuracy of digital infrared imaging for breast cancer detection in women undergoing breast biopsy. Dec 2009, A Prospective Study of Computerized Digital Infrared Image Analysis (NoTouch BreastScanTM) in Biopsy Proven Breast Cancers.