Breast Cancer Prevention with Thermography
Thermography is essentially a photograph of the heat produced by the body.
It measures subtle temperature changes in the skin that can be associated with an underlying tumor or other pathology. It is a physiological test only and a way to monitor breast health, not just a way to detect breast disease.
Breast Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women. Thermography can detect first signs that breast cancer may be forming – up to 8 years earlier than a mammogram or any other procedure
Earlier detection means there is time for prevention, when risk-reduction strategies such as diet, exercise, and stress reduction are most effective.
Implementing comprehensive treatment can result in reversal of these changes and prevention of breast cancer.
Thermography is a painless, non invasive, state of the art clinical test without any exposure to radiation and with no compression of tissue, it is used as part of an early detection program which gives women of all ages the opportunity to increase their chances of detecting breast disease at an early stage.
What is Breast Thermography?
Breast thermography is essentially a photograph of the heat produced by the body.
It can detect first signs that breast cancer may be forming, much earlier than a self examination, mammogram, or a doctor examination.
It is a valuable procedure for alerting your doctor to changes that can indicate early stage breast disease.
Is Breast Thermography safe?
The procedure is completely safe, painless, non invasive, with no exposure to radiation and with no compression of tissue.
Is Breast Thermography an approved procedure?
Yes, in 1982 digital infrared imaging was approved by the FDA as a breast imaging procedure to be used in addition to other imaging tests and/or examination procedures.
Does breast thermography replace mammograms?
Absolutely not! However, do mammograms replace breast thermography? The answer to this is also a resounding no; the two tests complement each other.
Breast thermography is to be used in addition to mammography as part of a woman’s regular breast health care.
The consensus among health care experts is that no one procedure or method of imaging is solely adequate for breast cancer screening. The false negative and positive rates for currently used examination tests are too high for the procedures to be used alone.
However, breast thermography may pick up thermal markers that may indicate the risk of cancers missed by other tests. A positive infrared image is also the single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer. It is thermography’s unique ability to monitor the abnormal temperature (physiological) changes produced by pathological breast tissue that allows for extremely early detection.
Since it has been determined that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, we should use every means possible to detect these tumors when there is the greatest chance for survival. Adding these tests together increases the chance for early detection
Who should have this test?
All women can benefit from breast thermography screening. However, it is especially appropriate for younger women (30 – 45) whose denser breast tissue makes it more difficult for mammography to be effective. It is also appropriate for women who are unable to have a mammography.
Is Breast Thermography costly?
No, Breast Thermography imaging of the breast is very reasonable considering the sophistication of the technology involved. However, costs do vary depending upon the location of the imaging lab and if special studies need to be performed. Our center’s fee for a breast thermography scan is $245, which includes imaging, a written report, and a digital copy of your images. Your report will be mailed to you within two weeks. If you are concerned and wish to have your results quickly, you may arrange this with our office for an additional fee.
Will my insurance cover the test?
This all depends on your individual insurance coverage. Some companies cover the procedure while others do not. Our policy is to receive payment at the time of service. Thermography is not covered by Medicare.
What other centers perform Breast Thermography?
Because of the special training, technical expertise, and unique clinical environmental needs necessary to perform breast thermography, many centers do not have this technology as of yet. Currently, independent digital infrared imaging centers and highly specialized independent breast clinics are the most common place to find this technology.
The American Journal of Surgery (2008) 196, 523-526
Effectiveness of a noninvasive digital infrared thermal imaging system in the detection of breast cancer
Nimmi Arora, M.D., Diana Martins, B.S., Danielle Ruggerio, B.S., Eleni Tousimis, M.D., Alexander J. Swistel, M.D., Michael P. Osborne, M.D., Rache M. Simmons, M.D.
Department of Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell, New York, NY, USA
Received 14 April 2008; received in revised form 4 June 2008
Digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) has resurfaced in this era of modernized computer technology. Its role in the detection of breast cancer is evaluated.
In this prospective clinical trial, 92 patients for whom a breast biopsy was recommended based on prior mammogram or ultrasound underwent DITI. Three scores were generated: an overall risk score in the screening mode, a clinical score based on patient information, and a third assessment by artificial neural network.
Sixty of 94 biopsies were malignant and 34 were benign. DITI identified 58 of 60 malignancies, with 97% sensitivity, 44% specificity, and 82% negative predictive value depending on the mode used. Compared to an overall risk score of 0, a score of 3 or greater was significantly more likely to be associated with malignancy (30% vs 90%, P < .03) Conclusion
DITI is a valuable adjunct to mammography and ultrasound, especially in women with dense breast parenchyma.
Patient Preparation Instructions for Thermography
Please read instructions carefully. It is important that you follow the instructions carefully to insure valid test results. We want your body temperature to be as normal (calm) as possible. Do not hesitate to phone our office if you have questions, 909-860-4307 Thank you for your cooperation.
Prior to your exam, please do the following
– Avoid natural or artificial tanning for a week before your thermographic exam
– Don’t bath, shower or exercise during the hour prior to your thermographic appointment
– Refrain from using tobacco products and avoid any caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea or sodas
– Avoid using deodorants, creams or lotions on you arm or chest on the day of your appointment
– Avoid confrontation or emotional stress; this can raise your skin temperature
– Refrain from sauna, steam rooms or hot/cold packs