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Misleading Propaganda Distributed By Major New Zealand Breast Cancer Organisations To Denigrate Thermography

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Misleading Propaganda Distributed By Major New Zealand Breast Cancer Organisations To Denigrate Thermography

- Clinical Thermography Responds to Health Groups' Claims -

Responding to a misleading and biased statement (September 22, 2010) issued by The National Screening Unit, The Cancer Society of New Zealand, The College of Radiologists and the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, representatives from Clinical Thermography want New Zealanders to be accurately informed about breast thermography and its benefits and limitations in the fight against breast cancer.

"We are extremely concerned that misleading information from trusted sources is being fed to the public with the intention of creating fear and confusion in the minds of New Zealand women, while denigrating thermal imaging" said Clinical Thermography representative Jamie Newman.

Statements by representatives of the New Zealand breast cancer industry claim that Clinical Thermography promotes itself as "a breast cancer screening option", a statement that is categorically untrue. Clinical Thermography met with the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation in March 2010 to provide clarity on its position as an adjunctive tool that is scientifically validated as a significant indicator of breast cancer risk - providing New Zealand women with an early alert of potential problems.

"Despite providing accurate information on our position on several occasions, these organisations have ignored the facts and consistently refuse to update their misleading information. Instead they've chosen to use their significant resources to denigrate thermography, ignoring the tremendous benefit it can provide to women when used alongside other testing" says thermography specialist Mike Godfrey. He continues, "These nationwide attacks are unwarranted and indeed unprofessional."

Radiologist Dr. Mike Baker was quoted in yesterday's New Zealand Herald saying, "the [thermography] industry should be closed down because there is no scientific evidence to support thermography." In fact, there is extensive research proving that thermography has significant evidence to support its role as an independent risk marker for breast cancer. For example, a persistent abnormal thermogram is considered by a number of researchers to be the "single greatest indicator of breast cancer risk", while another study has shown that an abnormal thermogram is considered 10 times more significant than a positive family history of breast cancer. In the US, the FDA approved thermography for "adjunctive diagnostic screening for the detection of breast cancer" in 1982, and again in 2003.

"To make comments like this about thermography is not only defamatory and malicious but it is also robbing women of their god-given right to be pro-active about the health of their breasts," says Allison Roe MBE and spokesperson for Clinical Thermography. She continues, "Surely having another weapon in our arsenal in the war against breast cancer should be welcomed."

"Thermography is a test that can detect abnormalities in the breasts that a mammogram cannot, namely physiological changes that precede anatomical changes. In many cases, a lump has been growing for 5 to 10 years before it is large enough to be seen on a mammogram," says Mike Godfrey.

According to BreastScreen Aotearoa, up to 15% of breast cancers in post-menopausal women are missed by mammography, and up to 25% are missed in women in their 40's. Studies that have combined mammography, physical breast exam(s) and thermography have demonstrated a 95-98% accuracy rate in the detection of breast cancer. Surely this is research that these health groups should be embracing for the benefit of New Zealand women.

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