Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging, or Thermography, may be new information for you; therefore we have outlined the more frequently asked questions below. Should you have any questions that are not addressed here or simply need more information, please call us at (916) 784-9355.
Breast Thermography is a non-invasive screening procedure that detects and records infrared heat emissions from the breast, markers such as increased blood vessel or capillary formation, which can aid in the early detection of abnormal changes in breast tissue.
The procedure is based on the principle that chemical and blood vessel activity in both pre-cancerous tissue and the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than in the normal breast. Since pre-cancerous and cancerous masses are highly metabolic tissues, they need an abundant supply of nutrients to maintain their growth, and therefore form new blood vessels (neoangiogenesis). This process results in an increase in surface temperatures of the breast.
By carefully examining changes in the temperature and blood vessels of the breasts, signs of possible cancer or pre-cancerous cell growth may be detected years prior to being discovered using any other procedure.
This provides for the earliest detection of abnormal cellular activity. Because of the extreme sensitivity of breast thermography, these temperature variations and vascular changes may be among the earliest signs of breast cancer and/or a pre-cancerous state of the breast. (back to top)
Or you might ask, “Who do I trust my breast health to?” As important as certification is as a requirement, background and experience are equally important. Before making an appointment, interview several thermography technicians and ask about their background and experience.
Shelley’s background spans more than 20 years in the medical healthcare field, including surgery and pathology, and 15 years in thermography, which enables her to provide women with the confidence and peace of mind that their breast health is in trusted hands.
Yes. Thermography detects the earliest changes or abnormalities in physiology that can show up in the future as a tumor.
Unlike mammography and ultrasound, thermography is a test of physiology, meaning it looks for functional changes in breast tissue which may indicate trouble years before a tumor can be detected by other means.
Mammography and ultrasound are tests of anatomy. They look at structure. When a tumor has grown to a size that is large enough and dense enough to block an x-ray beam (mammography) or sound wave (ultrasound), it produces an image that can be detected by a trained radiologist.
Most cancers are detected by mammography once they have been in the body 8 years or more, when the diameter of the tumor has grown to the size of a dime and contains over 4 billion cells.
Thermography, on the other hand, can identify as few as 16 pre-cancerous cells within 90 days of forming, long before a tumor can be identified on other forms of imaging.(back to top)
When used as part of a multi-modal approach (thermography + clinical examination + ultrasound + mammography), 95-98% of early stage breast cancers can be detected. (back to top)
Thermography can be utilized by all women, all shapes, all sizes and all ages. It is not limited by breast density and is ideal for women who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, women with large or small breasts, a history of fibrocystic breast disease, and women with dense breast tissue.(back to top)
It is recommended that women begin thermography screenings at age 20. Since most women do not have a mammogram until age 40, there is a critical time period from ages 20 to 39 that thermography could be beneficial.
The incidence of breast cancer in women under age 40 is on the rise. By beginning the screening process at age 20, we are able to establish a very normal baseline to which all future thermograms can be compared. Since thermography looks at how the breast is functioning, any change noted in your unique “thermal fingerprint” may be the first warning that something is going on.
Also, the number one killer of women ages 29-45 years of age is breast cancer. A woman diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 most likely had the cancer 10 years (age 30). Therefore, a baseline thermogram is recommended beginning at age 20. (back to top)
Neither mammography, ultrasound, nor thermography can diagnose cancer. Only a biopsy can definitely diagnose cancer. (back to top)
If a woman’s thermographic images suggest a relative progesterone deficiency (estrogen dominance), treatment of this condition may play an important role in prevention.(back to top)
Yes. The information provided by thermal imaging can contribute useful additional information which ultimately helps your doctor with management decisions. It is also important to establish a baseline for future comparison in order to monitor changes and the progress of any treatment. (back to top)
One day there may be a single method for the early detection of breast cancer. Until then, using a combination of methods will increase your chances of detecting cancer in an early stage. These methods may include:
- Breast thermography for women of all ages, starting at age 25;
- A regular breast exam by a health professional.
- Monthly breast self-exams;
- Mammography, when appropriate, for women over 50;
- Breast ultrasound;
- Personal awareness for changes in the breasts. (back to top)
For details on the procedure, click here.
The thermography session costs $199.00 and takes about 30 minutes.
Payment by cash, check, or credit card is appreciated at the time of screening.
Annually for women 40 and over. More frequent intervals may be suggested for women with high risk thermograms in order to monitor them more closely or to follow improvements from treatment. (back to top)
Thermography is not reimbursable by insurance companies at this time. Though not covered by insurance, the screening is affordable for most women.
Your continued support of this life-saving technology may make this a mainstream test accepted by insurance companies in the future.
FULL BODY IMAGING It Can Be Your Early Warning System
What Does It Have to Offer?
The key to maintaining your health is prevention. It is far easier to care for the first indications that something is wrong than to try and fix a problem that has caused significant damage.
Unlike other forms of imaging that detect structural changes such as a tumor or broken bone, infrared imaging looks at the body’s subtle chemical and nervous system signals. These neurochemical signals may be sent far in advance of significant damage to the body, warning you of a possible health problem that may be years in advance of symptoms.
With this information in hand, you and your health care provider can outline a method for treating a current problem or possibly preventing future problems before they cause irreversible damage.
The whole procedure takes about 1 hour for a full-body exam. You will be mailed a complete written report. Copies may also be sent to your health care providers at your request.
Who Benefits From a Full Body Scan?
Everyone, especially health conscious patients who prefer to head off possible health problems before it’s too late. Infrared imaging may also give your doctor the information you need to get nearer the cause of a current problem that is not responding well to treatment. By providing an extremely early warning, or notifying you of a current problem that is going undetected, infrared body scanning has the ability to help you in preventing health problems that stop you from enjoying life.
Many patients are also confused with regard to their condition. For example, patients with chronic pain who have had treatment with little or no relief may have been treated for the wrong condition. Infrared imaging has helped many patients get to the cause of their condition so that proper treatment can be rendered.
It can take many years for a condition to develop. Medical infrared thermography may be able to warn you of a problem years in advance of other tests.
Early Detection for Your Family
Infrared imaging aids in the early detection and prevention of disease. Your doctor may use this procedure as part of your yearly physical exam or to investigate a problem you may be experiencing. If your doctor is not currently using infrared imaging, you are free to call for an appointment without a referral. Infrared imaging may be exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes to watching your health over time or determining the cause of a current problem.
The following list is just some of the conditions that infrared full body scanning can detect. In many cases, infrared imaging can detect an early warning years before symptoms occur.
|Altered Gait Manifestations
Brachial Plexus Injury
Carotid Artery Insufficiency
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Deep Vascular Disease
Disc Syndromes (Spinal Discogenic Pain)
Headache Evaluation (Cervicogenic, Migraine, Cluster, Sinus) Herniated Disc/Ruptured Disc
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Lower Motor Neuron Disease
Lumbosacral Plexus Injury
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Neoplasia (Breast, Skin, Testicular)
Nerve Root Irritation
Nerve Stretch Injury
Neurovascular Compression Paresthesia
Peripheral Nerve Abnormalities Pinched Nerves
Referred Pain Syndromes
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Repetitive Strain Injuries Respiratory Conditions
Sacroiliac Ligament Tear
Sensory Nerve Abnormalities
Soft Tissue Injury
Spinal Cord Pain/Injury
Superficial Vascular Disease Synovitis
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome