Breast thermography is a radiation free, touch free imaging procedure that has been FDA approved since 1982 as an adjunct screening method to aid in the early detection of breast cancer. An ultra-sensitive thermal camera and a sophisticated computer are used to convert infrared heat emitting from the surface of the skin into electrical impulses that are visualized in color. The spectrum of colors indicates an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared heat, also known as “hot or cold spots” on a thermogram (thermal images). The thermogram is then interpreted by a team of doctors known as thermologists who provide a detailed report of results and recommendations. The technology of thermography has been utilized for decades and can detect physiological changes at a very early stage. When used as an adjunctive screening process, thermography provides the early detection necessary to implement preventive lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise and stress management.
Breast thermography is a test of physiology, it detects how the breast is functioning or malfunctioning. It is based on the principle that blood vessel activity is almost always higher in pre-cancerous tissue than in normal breast tissue. This process, known as neoangiogenesis, is the formation of new blood vessels to support the growth of cancer cells within the breast tissue. The activity of newly formed blood vessels and increased blood flow in the breast produces measurable amounts of heat that can be detected by a thermal camera.
Breast thermography has more than 800 peer-reviewed studies, involving more than a quarter of a million participants over the past 30 years. An evaluation of these studies revealed that breast thermography has a 90% sensitivity rate for detecting early changes in the breast tissue that can possibly lead to cancer. Breast thermography has proven to be a valuable screening tool for women of all ages. With preventive care on the rise it has become an additional option for women concerned with radiation exposure, inconclusive mammograms, dense breast tissue, fibrocystic conditions, and previous biopsies.
Thermography can be used as a whole-body approach to wellness because a thermogram can pinpoint abnormalities at times, even before the body’s sensory organs can identify them. Therefore, the establishment of a baseline representing your unique thermal pattern allows for the comparison of changes over time, and the is the greatest benefit of thermography.