NO RADIATION • NON-INVASIVE • NO CONTACT WITH THE BODY
What Is Breast Thermography?
What is Breast Thermography? It is Thermography or DITI (Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging) and is simply a picture taken with a special infrared camera. The technology captures the heat that comes off of the body and displays the temperatures as colors. The interpretation of these temperatures and patterns, and how they apply to physiology or function, is what makes breast thermography a wonderful tool for health assessment and proactive strategies. Many times, these insights come before there is a diagnosed disease, giving the patient the opportunity to make lifestyle changes, and maintain good health. This is how breast thermography can close the clinical gap and time between the beginning of a problem and the diagnosis itself. The old expressions “form follows function” and “I wish I knew then what I know now” come to mind.
Most often DITI is thought of in terms of breast screening, although full body, dental and region of interest scans are gaining popularity.
Women are interested in breast thermography because of its many applications.
It is safe test for anyone, and we will advise you if it appropriate for your particular concern. Changes in thermal patterns can give important information about potential issues, and lifestyle changes can be implemented. The success of the new dietary or other strategies can be monitored for a positive outcome.
Young women with a significant family history of breast disease can use thermography as a way to monitor their health, years before other testing would be considered effective or recommended. The use of hormone replacement is being more commonplace, and thermography is a way to monitor early changes that may take place, and hormone protocols can be adjusted. Because there is no compression with breast thermography, breast implants are not an issue.
Women who have been diagnosed with a breast pathology and are using naturopathic protocols have found monitoring their treatment with breast thermography very helpful. It can give an indication if the prescription is having a positive effect on their health status.
With breast thermography, we are looking at the whole breast including the skin temperature of the underarms, above and below the breast. This view gives access to the lymphatic system. The information can help the patient assess their choices of personal care products like deodorants, and other lifestyle habits.
Women who have had breast surgery can benefit from scans of the remaining tissue and lymphatics.
IBC, or inflammatory breast cancer, is not a lump that can be palpated. With thermography’s ability to pick up increased temperatures (inflammation), earlier warnings are possible.
Breast thermography is not the same as mammograms, MRI’s or ultrasounds.
These are tests of anatomy or form and are diagnostic. Thermography is looking at skin temperature and how it relates to physiology or function. Here are some ways to look at the difference. Think of the heart. The anatomy is the muscle, the valves, the chambers and the size of the blood vessels. The physiology is how the muscle contracts and moves blood through. The form is like the structure of a building. The function is what it is being used for. All this information is useful and complementary.
Thermography, whether of the breast or full body thermography, is a proactive screening. Lifestyle strategies that are geared for prevention, not just detection or diagnosis. We all know it is easier and less costly to stay well than to get well.