What Is Breast Thermography?
Thermography is a FDA recognized non- invasive screening/investigational tool that assists the practitioner in the consideration of all possibilities when formulating a differential diagnosis, treatment plan and/or guidance for referring you (the patient) to a specialist for further investigation if indicated. Medical Infrared Thermography uses an infrared camera that detects, records, and produces an image of a patient’s skin surface temperatures and/or thermal patterns which can indicate hidden, subtle metabolic changes. Thermography is a highly specialized technical device that provides both qualitative and quantitative representations and records energy in its purest form.
Breast thermography is a test that can assist in monitoring breast health and early changes associated with the breast. It is safe, contact free, and painless.
Breast thermography can provide women with a marker for breast health, and with that an opportunity to look at diet, lifestyle and other factors to help improve breast health. Women who want to take a pro- active approach to their breast health find great value in the additional information provided by thermography.
Breast Thermography Enables You To:
Establish your baseline thermal pattern
Monitor any changes in these patterns over time
Assess diet, lifestyle and other interventions
Breast Thermography is:
Suitable for women of all ages
How Does it Work?
Thermography is based on the scientific premise that changes in breast health cause an increased blood supply to the growth area. Breast thermography measures the heat generated by the circulation of blood in the breast during this process. Breast thermography can identify women with changes so they can be monitored more closely and work with their health care professional to set proactive strategies in place, through diet, environmental and lifestyle changes.
Anatomical tests, such as mammograms and ultrasound, rely on finding physical lesions (lumps). Breast thermography is a physiological test that can identify abnormal blood vessel circulation within the breast. Physiological changes are known to precede anatomical changes, therefore both anatomical and physiological information is valuable in fully assessing breast health.
Is Thermography a Standalone Test?
Breast thermography is not a diagnostic or stand-alone tool in the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. It is a FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) recognized adjunctive to mammography screening. When a thermogram is positive, a closer look at the patient's hormonal metabolism, diet, exposure to environmental pollution, toxins and lifestyle factors is in order. Clinical blood work in addition to ultrasound and mammography is essential. When mammography and blood work are negative or equivocal, thermographic monitoring could continue on a quarterly to semi-annual basis.
Does Thermography Replace A Mammogram?
No - each test sees different breast health characteristics. A mammogram is an anatomical test (a breast x-ray) that looks for masses in the breast tissue, while a thermogram is a physiological test that looks for changes in blood vessel circulation within the breast. Breast thermography is a test to assess breast health and monitor dietary and lifestyle changes.
Is There a Best Time to Have Breast Thermography?
If you are still having monthly cycles your appointment is best scheduled in the first 15 days before pre-menstrual breast changes occur. If you are post menopausal you can schedule your appointment anytime.
Is Breast Thermography Safe?
Yes, thermography is a safe, non-invasive, non-contact test with no radiation. Thermography simply creates a thermal image of your breasts by measuring the heat emitted naturally by the body. Thermography is recognized by the FDA and has been used in the United States and Europe for over 30 years alongside mammography.
Can Thermography Diagnose Breast Cancer?
No. Thermography identifies abnormal physiological changes in your breasts. Mammography, a type of x-ray, identifies certain structures in the breast that can potentially be cancer. With both mammography and thermography, definitive diagnosis can only be obtained through other procedures such as a biopsy.
I have breast implants - is it safe?
Yes, breast implants do not interfere with thermography. Breast thermography is painless and safe, using no radiation or compression. It can be used effectively and safely for all women including pregnant or nursing women, women with dense breast tissue and women with breast implants.
What does the procedure involve?
After disrobing from the waist up, you sit in a temperature controlled room (approximately 68-72° F) for 10-15 minutes to acclimate to the temperature. A number of images of the breasts are taken from different angles. There is no contact with the breasts at any stage during the procedure. These images are then analyzed and sent to you following your appointment. All of our appointments are with female technicians.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, a referral is not necessary.