Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

‘Bogus’ breast cancer heat scans are putting lives at risk because they claim to be more effective than mammograms, says MP

Private health clinics are putting women’s lives at risk with a ‘bogus’ breast cancer test they claim to be more accurate than NHS mammograms, a leading MP has warned.

Dozens of ‘alternative’ clinics offer women heat scans to detect breast cancer, suggesting to clients that the radiation-free tests are safer than standard mammography. The thermal imaging technique works on the theory that tumours – even tiny ones – show up as ‘hot spots’. But Dr Sarah Wollaston, a trained GP and chairman of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, says they are giving women ‘false reassurance that they are clear of breast cancer’. The Tory MP says there is ‘no credible evidence’ that the thermography tests accurately spot cancer, and accuses clinics of making ‘deliberately misleading’ claims they are a safe alternative to mammography.

An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found clinics are:

  • Cherry-picking academic studies that back thermal imaging – while exaggerating the shortfalls of mammography;
  • Misleading patients by quoting accuracy rates of up to 97 per cent – when an objective scientific review found accuracy is far lower;
  • Over-playing fears about the radiation dangers of mammograms – when the risk of the procedure triggering cancer is tiny.

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