What are the doctors looking for in a breast thermography photo?
Breast disease alters the breast temperature and the surrounding blood supply creating reliable signs that can clearly be seen on a thermal image. Your doctor is looking for the first signs of an existing or potential problem. Early recognition of a problem allows for early treatment of the problem.
What is the main difference between breast thermography and mammography?
Mammograms use radiation to distinguish dense anatomical structures consistent with tumor growth. Thermograms look at physiological changes that accompany breast disease. Thermograms don’t see tumors. They detect vascular activity and temperature.
How often should women get breast thermography?
Early thermal imaging photos establish a baseline from which to monitor breast health. Comparative studies allow for early detection of changes. Thermography is recommended on an annual basis, for women 30 and over, but may be recommended at 3 to 6 month intervals when there are suspicious thermograms or other diagnostic readings; when evaluating the effects of hormone replacement or the efficacy of a treatment; or when there is any other cause for concern.
What does my thermography report tell me?
Your thermography report evaluates your risk for breast cancer. According to level of risk, you may be advised to follow a home program to reduce risk; to consult a specialist for an intensive, personalized risk reduction and prevention program; or to undergo further diagnostics.
What can I learn from thermography?
Thermograms take the temperature of the breasts. Temperature differentials may be normal for you, or may reveal underlying physiologic changes. These changes may reflect infection, inflammation, neurology, hormonal imbalance, or cancer or pre-cancerous conditions. Thermograms can track changes as physiology returns to normal.
Are there any limitations or disadvantages
to breast thermography?
Breast thermography does not replace mammography. It may not detect slow growing cancers where vascular levels remain largely unchanged. When breast exams, thermography, and mammography are used as complementary diagnostic techniques, the accuracy rates in detecting breast cancer increase dramatically.
What happens during a breast thermography exam?
The whole exam takes place behind the privacy of a screen. You will not be directly seen nor touched by the clinician. The only discomfort from the exam may be chilliness, as the room has to be kept at a specific, cool temperature for the pictures to be accurate. The clinician will instruct you to disrobe from the waist up. You will be asked to sit or stand with your hands on your hips (hands not touching your breasts) for about 15 minutes, while your upper body.
Digital infrared thermal imaging has been recognized as a viable diagnostic tool by the FDA, the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, the ACA Council on Diagnostic Imaging, the Congress of Neurosurgeons and by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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