Mammograms Causing Cancer



When you think of breast cancer, and the causes, what do you think is most likely to cause it? Heredity? Environmental hazards like pesticides or BPA? What about imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans? The surprising answer: the imaging tests. Particularly CT scans, but also X-rays and even the mammograms that are purported to ‘save lives’.

To be clear, no test can save a life. Not a mammogram, ultrasound, CT scan, or even a thermal image. At ThermApproach, located in Toledo, OH, we believe that you should be screened via thermal imaging, and the results of your image will assist you and your physician as to how to best approach your breast health.

The nonprofit arm of the National Academy of Sciences, The Institute of Medicine, reviewed possible causes of breast cancer in 2012 and found that radiation-based imaging tests can conclusively be linked to the malignancy. The report,

"Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach," concluded that about 2,800 breast-cancer cases a year among U.S. women stem from medical radiation. [1]

“While these represent a small proportion of all breast cancers, they’re important because they can potentially be reduced,” said Rebecca Smith-Bindman, M.D., director of the Radiology Outcomes Research Laboratory at the University of California at San Francisco, in an analysis of the findings.

Indeed, according to the same report, ‘the most significant conclusion of the IOM report is that to reduce her risk of breast cancer, a woman should avoid inappropriate radiation exposure. In particular, because the radiation doses delivered by computed tomographic (CT) imaging are high, women should reduce any unnecessary exposure to CT.’ It’s significant to point out that a thermal scan produces zero levels of radiation.

Having a mammogram exposes your body to a very high level of radiation. It’s speculated to be as high as 1,000 times greater than a chest X-ray. Along with that, it’s been theorized that ionizing radiation mutates cells, and the mechanical pressure of the actual mammogram can spread the cells that are already malignant; as can a biopsy.

Your risk of getting breast cancer from a mammogram increases by 1% for every additional unit of radiation your body is exposed to.  The Department of Epidemiology and Radiology at University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands found that among women who were all in a high-risk category for getting breast cancer; their risk increased by 1.5% due to low-dose radiation. In accordance to that, high-risk women exposed before age 20, or with five or more exposures were 2.5% more likely to develop breast cancer than high-risk women not exposed to low-dose radiation.[2]

Before we forget, don’t be fooled by 3D mammography. You may be hearing more about this form of mammography from your physician. It also is referred to by its technical name, tomosynthesis. It still exposes your breasts to as much radiation as a regular mammogram.

At the end of the day, the IOM concluded that one of the most important steps a woman can take to reduce their breast-cancer risk is to avoid unnecessary imaging tests.

At ThermApproach, we couldn’t agree more. However, we do believe you should be screened. We utilize sophisticated infrared technology and innovative computer software to capture the images in the form of an infrared thermogram, or heat picture.  It’s important to note, that Thermography is free of any kind of radiation.

All reports are interpreted by medical doctors that are Board Certified in Thermology. 

Before you can feel it, thermal imaging can see it. Please call our office to schedule your screening today.


[1] Smith-Bindman, Rebecca. “Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer and Radiation From Medical ImagingFindings From the Institute of Medicine Report.” JAMA Internal Medicine, American Medical Association, 9 July 2012,

[2] “Mammography May Increase Breast Cancer Risk in Some High-Risk Women.” Patient Safety - Contrast Material, 1 Dec. 2009,