Several procedures are advocated for population screening aimed at the early detection of breast cancer. Breast self-examination is widely advocated and used, but evaluation reveals disappointing results. Mammography, employing low-penetration radiographs (x-rays), has demonstrated convincingly its efficacy in early detection that leads to effective intervention. Thermography, which measures the infrared radiation emitted from breast tissue, is based on the premise that cancerous tissue is warmer than normal breast tissue, but this has unacceptably high false-positive and false-negative rates. Only mammography has been shown by randomized controlled trials to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.