Breast health can be a scary issue for many, but it doesn’t have to be. Early screening by a certified thermographer can provide clients with a world of benefits.
Here at Thermography Clinic Milton, we care about managing your health in more than just clinical terms, and realize that health care services don’t have to be frightening. With new technology advancements recently, there are more methods of screening for and diagnosing breast tissue irregularities than ever before, and it’s important to know your options. Being proactive about your health care allows you to stay ahead of the game, particularly when you may have to make some tough, informed choices in the future. So, here’s what you always wanted to know about breast thermography.
What is the difference between mammograms, ultrasounds, and thermograms?
Both mammograms and ultrasounds are structural (anatomical) tests, whereas thermography is a functional (physiological) test. Thermography images of the breast and surrounding area provides us with a risk assessment, while mammograms and ultrasounds detect structural abnormalities.
What is breast thermography and does it replace a mammogram?
Thermography has been FDA approved as an adjunctive tool for breast screening since 1982; it is a functional test that uses infrared sensors. Thermography measures heat and inflammation, whereas mammograms detect lumps. With this said, thermography doesn’t replace a mammogram. Both screenings are useful tools with relative strengths and weaknesses.
What is thermography used for?
As an imaging procedure that uses thermal imaging to measure the heat generated by different parts of the body, thermography is used for:
- Breast cancer risk assessment
- Adjunctive diagnostic information
- Treatment monitoring
- Prognostic indicator
How is Thermography Done?
In a thermogram, an FDA approved infrared camera measures the skin’s temperature and converts the radiometric measures into images. These thermographic findings are evaluated based on 32 standard thermological signs and criteria which are accepted standards of clinical thermology. Although temperature measurements differ in various parts of the body, in a normal healthy individual, temperature changes should be relatively symmetrical. Once the images are acquired in a controlled setting, they are sent to our board certified clinical thermologist for analysis and interpretation. A written report is then returned to the clinic three weeks later that present to the client a full explanation of findings and follow-up recommendations. Studies show that when breast thermography is used as a part of a multimodal approach (i.e. clinical examination + thermography + mammography), 95% of early stage cancers can be detected.
Who can have a Thermography done?
Anyone and Everyone! Thermography is particularly useful for clients who are not good candidates for mammography, or who prefer to avoid radiation exposure. It doesn’t matter if clients have had breast augmentations or reductions, partial mastectomies or have dense or lumpy tissue; thermography can be used by anyone young or old.
Why is Thermography Important?
For over 50 years, thermal imaging has been available in various parts of Europe and the U.S., and is now available in Canada. It is completely safe and non-invasive, and is free of radiation and adverse effects. It provides a risk assessment that can be used in the early stages of some diseases or at any age. Thermography is one of the best environmentally conscious early warning systems available today.
What is the purpose of Thermography?
Breast thermography is based on the premise that a constant blood supply should be circulated to a particular area before abnormal cells begin to grow. Chemical and blood vessel activity in pre-cancerous tissue is often 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 thus, can increase the surface temperatures of the breast.
Thermography should only be done by a certified thermographer. At Thermography Clinic Milton, we’re certified to screen using the guidelines and protocols established by the International Academy of Clinical Thermography.
Please note our screenings include the “cold challenge”, which is Important to have, as having a thermography screening done without including the “cold challenge” is like getting half a test done. When it comes to your health, our clinicians want to be precise as possible. We follow strict protocols and guidelines to ensure the most accurate and complete reporting.