Dr. Hillary Smith Breast Thermography ScanThermography (or DITI) is a picture taken with a special infrared camera to capture the physiology or function of the body. The interpretation of patterns gives insight into pre-structural changes in the body. It is a wonderful tool for proactive and preventative healthcare, because changes in the body can occur before the actual structure changes. This is how thermography can close the clinical gap between the beginning of a disease and a diagnosis.

Breast thermography is safe for everyone, and gives the earliest insight into changes in the breast tissue. This can be years before a breast lump is seen or felt, giving the woman time to make lifestyle changes, monitor her treatment, or receive the earliest and least invasive intervention. Images or thermograms can be taken of the entire body, the breast, and/or other areas of interest.

There is no radiation or compression making the screening completely safe. This is of particular interest to young women with a family history of breast cancer who would like to monitor their health, or women with dense breasts for whom traditional screenings may be less effective. Women using hormone support can monitor the status of their breasts and have their protocols adjusted accordingly. Recent studies have shown that breast implants may be a risk factor for cancer. Because DITI measures skin temperature and there is no contact, breast augmentation is not an issue.

Additionally, patients using naturopathic support for breast disease are able to safely screen and follow the progress of their protocols. Because the breast picture also visualizes the lymphatics (in the underarm, above the breast, into the sternum and under the breast) women who have had cancer and breast surgery can monitor the remaining breast tissue. Because inflammation is seen with thermal imaging, the screening can identify Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which is not a lump and is usually diagnosed when the prognosis is poor.

Thermography is not the same as MRI’s, mammograms, or breast ultrasounds. All of these tests are tests of anatomy and diagnostic for pathology that already exists. Thermal imaging is looking at physiology or function. It’s as if mammograms are looking at the structure of a house, and thermography is seeing what the people in the house are doing. Are the people taking good care of the structure or are they playing with fire? If it’s the former, then the stress response of worrying about our health can be minimized. If they are playing with fire, we need to adopt some new habits to keep the structure intact.

Thermography and lifestyle choices are about prevention, not just detection.