The risks of using only thermography for breast cancer screenings

Some practitioners say thermography can identify precursors to breast cancer without exposure to radiation, but one survivor says relying on thermography alone left her unaware of growing cancer.
8:22 | 02/13/19

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Transcript for The risks of using only thermography for breast cancer screenings
Here's Kiera Phillips. Reporter: Morgan and her story have a lot in common. Loving California moms raising their sons on their own. Definitely consider myself a mama's boy. Oh. When the two found troubling lumps in their breasts they turned to the same kind of tests. Y said it can detect disease in advance even before it happens. It's called thermography. It measures heat patterns and track flood flow. Some add indicates say it can much more than that, like identify the precursors of breast cancer. The new mammography. Some practitioners say they make it clear it's not a stand-alone test. But Morgan says she didn't notice that in the fine print. Come on. After finding a lump in her breast in 2012, she was in denial and hoping to deal with it naturally. She went to thermal imaging center operating by a choir tractor Dr. Melvin, and his partner. They tout it as a potentially life saving life safer. Dr. Melvin came in and said are you sure you have a lump? He said I don't veterans day any. She had what they called a mild to moderate risk. Melvin recommended exercises and cleanse. And recommended she come back in three months. Moern returned four months later. Her symptoms had become dramatically worse. All of a sudden, I'm such a fool. Why did I even come here. She refused another set of scans. Unemployed and uninsured she says it took seven months to get in for a biopsy. Her diagnosis, stage three brrch. It affected everything. How did you get through? I guess I'm stronger than I thought. It says it's far more efficient at detecting cancer. I don't know of a credible resource would say it's adequate to save lives. The fda state patients who under go a them og fi test alone should not commend on it. It has not be shown to be effective for either breast cancer screening or diagnosis in detecting early stage breast cancer. I don't need a mammogram. That's Linda Hayes speaking at a San Diego business expo with two ABC news producers. One from our Los Angeles station KABC. Hayes didn't know that they were reporters. When they asked if they could vape her pitch, she agreed. So we requested an interview with Hayes and Melvin and asked if that sales pitch was backed by scientific proof. Hundreds of thousands of women say it's an effective early detection tool. Does. You said no one needs a mammogram. People are adamant about mammograms. Nobody needs a mammogram. If you never do this, I don't need a mammogram. That's her feeling for her. Your literature says it can detect enthusiasmors eight to ten years before a mammogram. How have you been able to prove that? That was done by the American academy of thermology. I went for a screening recording by undercover cameras. My technician says she was trained by Dr. Melvin. I received mine. A mild to moderate risk of developing aggressive tissue. That soundeds familiar. I went in for a mammogram afterwards and thankfully, it was Normal. Do you remember your patient Morgan Sloan? No. We showed the report from 2012. These findings indicate that there are significant thermal findings in the report. If there was information there that you were alarmed, why wait? We need add three-month are recall to understand it. He said Morgan didn't follow his recommendations and pointed out this line on the intake form. Dwight report will not tell me whether I have an illness, disease or other condition". We asked about the statement in the brochure. The data doesn't support it as being effective. You have to show that it works. Otherwise you end up in situations where people believe it. They don't get the tests that prove to be beneficial and the results may speak for themselves. ALMA said in her case, the results of avoiding mainstream medicine were devastate action. She went to a different thermal place. Six months after her screening she received the same diagnosis as Morgan. Stage III breast cancer. But her prognosis was much worse. She wasn't able to vocalize. They took her to the hospital and they found out that her tumor had spread to her brain. ALMA's health detheatered rapidly. A year after her scan she was unable to answer even the simplest question. Ok. Do you know what four plus seven is? Yeah. What's that? Two. Before ALMA died she sued her thermal og first and the manufacturer of the camera. The case was eventually settled with the defendants denies any wrongdoing. ALMA would be with us today had she not relied on the results of her thermo gram. Camilo was by his mother's side until the very end. Looking back, it was some of my most cherished moments. It brings joy to my heart that we at least got that. What's the last thing you remember she said to you? Despite the fact that she couldn't talk much, she could say "I love you," so she was able to get that out. Fortunately Morgan is now cancer free, weathering years of chemotherapy and surgery with the help of her son. I wanted to be there for her in whatever way I could. What did you think when he died his hair pink? I loved it. She's now cancer free. Her advice for anyone who discovers a lump? Go get a biopsy. It's the only way. For "Nightline," I'm Kiera

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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