Diagnostic accuracy of two methods of Breast light and thermography in breast cancer screening: A review study

Document Type : Review Article


1 Assistant professor, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2 PhD Candidate of Reproductive Health, Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

3 M.Sc. Student of Midwifery, Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

4 Breast Surgeon, Cancer Research Group, Seyed Al-Shohada Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.


Introduction: Mammography is the gold standard for diagnosis of breast cancer. But in recent years, other methods such as the Breast Light and thermography have been raised in cancer screening. There are conflicting results about the accuracy of these methods. This review study was performed with aim to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the diagnosis of two methods of breast light and thermography in breast cancer screening.
Methods: To achieve the studies, the search was conducted between 1900-2019 on the electronic databases of SID, Google scholar, Pubmed, Cochran, Scopus, Web Of Sciences using the keywords of Mammography, Ultrasound, Breast light, Thermography, Breast Cancer. Participants in the study were all women referred to medical centers who were evaluated by thermography and Brest Light method. The main inclusion criteria included the published articles on sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of thermography and Brest Light methods. Insufficient data of articles and inappropriate and out-of-study content were considered as exclusion criteria. The STARD checklists were used to assess the full-text of the articles, and finally 9 articles which met the inclusion criteria were selected.
Results: In the assessment of various studies comparing sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of two methods of Breast light and thermography with other methods (mammography, ultrasound and clinical examination of the breast) showed that Bright light method had the sensitivity of 85.56% -93%, specificity of 53.4%-73.3%, the positive predictive value of 91.4%-93.5% and negative predictive value of 29.7%-77.8%. Thermography method had the sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 68.68%-95.3%, positive predictive value of 15.8% - 41.1% and negative predictive value of 99.1%-100%.
Conclusion: Bright light method has low specificity and although thermography method has high sensitivity, but the specificity and positive predictive value of the method is low, therefore these two methods can be used as an auxiliary method beside mammography or ultrasound.


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