State-of-the-art thermal imaging uses ultra-sensitive infrared cameras and sophisticated computers to detect, analyze, and produce high-resolution images of these temperature and vascular changes. The procedure is both comfortable and safe using no radiation or compression.
Breast Thermal Imaging
Regular Breast Screening with Thermal Imaging
Sadly incidents of breast cancer are rising, with 1 in 9 women expecting a diagnosis of breast cancer in their lifetime. Consequently we recommend regular annual Breast Screening checks with thermal infrared imaging, much like a regular dental checkup, for women of all ages from 20 and above.
Breast Screening & Monitoring Without Radiation
- Cancers are associated with increased temperature and abnormal blood vessel patterns, both detected on Medical Infrared Scans (we call them thermal scans). Furthermore, the breasts natural auto-regulatory response to cooling adds significantly to the detection of any subtle abnormalities in the breast tissue
- Thermal scans can be repeated as often as you like with no risk or radiation and are therefore very suited for regular and frequent monitoring (post-surgery or during treatment) or in cases where a patient might be unwilling to proceed with surgery ( e.g.DCIS)
- What exactly is Breast Medical Infrared Scanning?
Breast medical infrared scanning uses state of the art technology which scans the body using a thermal imaging camera to produce an image or “thermal scan”. This scan is trying to detect heat and not a lump.
Breast tumours have abnormal blood vessel patterns that give off more heat than the surrounding tissue. These blood vessel and heat patterns begin to occur between 6 and 10 years before tumours form. Therefore detecting this heat can enable early intervention and reduce risk and also the potential for serious surgery.
The blood vessel growth that accompanies tumour formation is termed neovascularization. Neovascularization is the earliest sign of a rapidly growing tumour and can be determined with infrared technology.
A thermal scan analyses the heat that is given off by the breast and allows for immediate display onto a computer monitor. The images obtained provide an indirect measurement of the metabolic activity of breast tissue. In other words, abnormal tissue is identified on a thermal scans as focal ‘hot spots,’ abnormal blood vessel patterns and disturbed cooling response.
Early Detection is What We All Want!
- Is breast medical infrared scanning safe?
Breast medical infrared scanning is as safe as getting your picture taken. There is no radiation exposure or anything invasive about the test: in fact there is no contact at all with the body.
- Why should I have a thermal scan I have no family history and am not at high risk for breast cancer?
Although family history is considered a risk factor, 90% of women who develop breast cancer have no family history. A positive thermal scan is considered the highest risk marker for the future development of cancer. It is 9 times more significant than a family history. A thermal scan can show if a woman may actually be at high risk despite the lack of a family history of cancer. It can also really show if there is any real risk at all where there is a family history.
- I have a suspicious mammogram or felt a lump in my breast. Should I have a thermal scan?
Absolutely. The information provided from the thermal scan can clarify the other findings, ultimately helping your doctor make better decisions as to the best way to manage the situation.
- I have cancer and am scheduled for surgery. What benefit is there to a thermal scan this late in the game?
Thermal scans’ performed before and after a surgery or other treatment may help evaluate the success of the procedure by monitoring the metabolic and vascular changes of the cancer site. Additionally, once a woman develops breast cancer she is at a higher risk of developing it again. thermal scans’ offer early detection of re-occurrence.
Thermography technology has been around for over 50 years. The FDA registered the first medical thermography system over 20 years ago. The medical application enjoyed a period of popularity in the 70’s and has emerged again in recent years as advancements in the technology has made the imaging more reliable and acceptance among the population has exploded!
ven though it is classified by many insurance companies as “investigational” or “experimental” the practical reality is that the medical evidence has consistently supported that the technology has advance far beyond either of these imposed labels.
If you are looking at thermography for the first time, there are a few things you need to know:
- Studies are consistently supporting the fact that thermography is the earliest possible indication of breast abnormalities.
- Thermography has numerous clinical applications including, but not limited to breast and cardiovascular screening.
- Even so, thermography is not considered “standard of care” which means the patient, in most cases, must pay for thermography exams.
- The Med-Hot cameras are considered a type 1 medical device and require FDA review and acceptance. Be certain any device you investigate has proper registration for either Class 1 or Class III device. (Note: The FDA does not “approve” a device, but it must conform to safety and effectiveness guidelines.)
- It is advisable that a report provided by a reliable interpretation service (preferably reported by or over-read by a Board Certified MD or someone who has training and interpretation experience) be available to the provider, unless a representative of an imaging center is an experienced thermologist.
- You should be free to use the interpretation service of your choice. Be concerned about a company that requires that you use a specific service.
- There are several companies that offer thermal imaging systems for medical use. There is more to
Choosing a company and a technology than you might expect.
Here are some benefits to consider:
In order to get the best possible examination, free of artifact, the following are STRONGLY recommended.
No prolonged sun exposure (especially sunburn) to the areas to be imaged 5 days prior to your exam.
No use of lotions, creams, powders, or makeup (for full/upper body or head no makeup on face) on areas to be imaged the day of the exam.
No shaving or other hair removal of the areas to be imaged the day of the exam.
No use of deodorants or antiperspirants the day of your exam.
No physical stimulation or treatment of the breasts, chest, neck, or back for 24 hours before the exam (no chiropractic, acupuncture, TENS, physical therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, sauna, steam room, hot or cold pack use).
No exercise 5 hours prior to your exam. No dry brushing, hot bathing or hot showering.
No tobacco use, caffeinated soda, coffee, alcohol or tea 4 hours prior to exam.
Should not take any medication that may effect your temperature or nervous system such as pain pills, aspirin, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. No fever.
Have not breastfed or lactating for at least 4-6 months If your hair falls below neck wear clipped back and up. Wait 3 months post surgery and 6 months post radiation to schedule appointment.
- Technology comparison. Click here for a handy comparison chart.
- What hardware and services are included in the price, i.e. training, certification, support, warranties. You should expect to receive the camera, computer, and an appropriate stand. Also inquire if a company offers remote support, which is professional and efficient for everyone.
- Practical experience, professionalism and qualifications of the company’s representatives and principals.
- What is the company’s policy and costs regarding the training of subsequent new technicians.
- Availability of certification opportunities and which Association(s) the company recommends.
- Does the company offer opportunities to upgrade and trade-in a current system for newer models as they become available?
- Does the company have any programs in place to help you market thermography?
- And very important, does the company share your expectations and passion for the benefits of thermography.
Thermography for the Prevention of Breast Cancer
Thermography is a procedure in which a heat-sensing infrared camera is used to record the surface heat produced by different parts of the body. Abnormal tissue growth can cause temperature changes, which may show up on the thermogram. Thermography may be used to diagnose breast cancer and other tumors.
We are all familiar with breast cancer walks, races, fund-raisers, luncheons, etc., raising millions if not billions of dollars for research for “the cure”. Why then, in 1940 only 1 in 22 women got breast cancer, yet today it is 1 in 8? Shouldn’t we be focusing on prevention, rather than wait until we are diagnosed to do something about it? Most of us are less familiar with the tools of prevention. Mammography, MRI, ultrasounds, are all words most have heard but thermography is much less familiar.
With over 97% accuracy, thermography has the ability to warn women 8-10 years before any other imaging method, that a cancer may be forming, alerting women early enough to begin the process of actually reversing this abnormal development before it even becomes a tumor. Thermography uses NO compression and NO radiation, so it is safe, non-invasive and painless.
Thermography is designed to detect and reveal abnormal heat and vascular development in the breast tissue, which is attributed to early tumor growth. Every physician knows that a tumor, whether malignant or benign, needs its own blood supply to nourish itself to grow. These vascularities grow in very abnormal patterns, creating the heat and inflammation that a thermal imaging camera detects.
An abnormal thermogram is the single most important marker of high risk for developing future breast cancer, ten times more significant than a family history of the disease. In other words, if someone gets a suspicious thermogram indicating that something is wrong, something usually is.
Did you know that the single greatest risk factor for development of breast cancer is a woman’s lifetime breast exposure to estrogen? A woman can have up to fifty times more estrogen in her breast tissue than her blood levels indicate. With the help of a natural practitioner or qualified nutritionist, a woman can make changes to affect her hormone levels and lower her risk. Throughout this time, a woman can monitor her breast tissue changes with thermography and actually see that the changes made to correct the imbalance are working. This is where breast thermography plays an unprecedented role in breast cancer prevention.
Along with over 800 published peer-reviewed studies on the effectiveness of thermography, a study
Image courtesy of Donna Tomey
published in the January 2003 publication of the American Journal of Radiology showed thermography to be a “safe, non-invasive and valuable adjunct to (not replacement for) mammography in determining whether a lesion was benign or malignant, with over 97% sensitivity”.
Unfortunately, until thermography is considered the “standard of care,” most women won’t even hear of this life-saving technology. Every woman should have access and be aware of this valuable screening tool. It is the earliest detection available, and provides hope in the prevention of this epidemic disease.
About the AuthorDonna J. Tomey is a Certified Clinical Thermographer. received her certification at Duke University under the auspices of the American College of Clinical Thermology, Inc.
After her own experience with breast cancer in early 2006, Donna learned about thermography as the earliest breast cancer screening tool available.
If in doubt consider :It takes just 15 minutes for a “peace of mind” test using state of the art thermal scans (medical thermal imaging):
- Extremely early detection (typically 6-10 years earlier than mammography)
- Radiation free
- Pain Free – many women experience extreme pain and discomfort with mammograms as their breasts have to be compressed. There is no need for this with our Thermal Scan.
- Ideal for all ages, whether 20 or 70 yrs. old
- Non-invasive unlike mammograms, X-ray, CT and PET scans
- Accurate: 90% sensitivity and 90% specificity