What is Thermography?
Thermography is a way of measuring and mapping the heat on the surface of the breast with the use of a special heat-sensing camera. It is based on the idea that the temperature rises in areas with increased blood flow and metabolism, which could signify a tumor. Increased metabolic activity or blood flow in an area can be a result of inflammation, fibrocystic breast disease, or a very early warning sign of potential cancerous tumors.
The technology has been around for several decades, and has improved with newer versions of the test better able to determine small temperature differences.
Thermography has the capability to detect the metabolic footprints of breast cancer 5 to 10 years before the cancerous cells become a tumor large enough to be detected by mammography.
What is involved in the procedure?
Breast thermography is completely non-invasive and as simple as having your picture taken. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes, as you sit in front of a Thermographic camera. There are a few preparations you will need to do prior to the test such as avoiding sun and tanning, underarm deodorants, and you will be given specific guidelines to follow during the 72 hours prior to your appointment. Images are sent to specially trained and certified MDs for analysis and results are usually obtained within 3 days.
Who are ideal candidates for breast Thermography?
Women with dense, fibrous and tender breasts
Women who may need to be screened during pregnancy
Women who have concerns about risk of rupturing their breast implants.
Is Digital Infrared Imaging (breast thermography) safe?
The procedure uses no radiation and there is no contact with the body, which also makes the procedure completely painless.
Is Digital Infrared Imaging costly?
No, Thermography of the breast is very reasonable considering the sophistication of the technology involved. Costs may vary depending upon the imaging lab and if special studies need to be performed. Our center’s fee for a breast thermography scan is $195.00, which includes consultation, imaging, a written report, and a copy of the report sent to your doctor if needed.
Will my insurance cover the test?
Some companies cover the procedure while others do not. Our policy is to receive payment at the time of service while providing you with all of the paperwork necessary for you to submit the bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. Thermography is not covered by Medicare.
Is Thermography an alternative for mammography?
Both thermography and mammography are FDA approved for breast cancer screening; however, thermography is not intended to replace mammography. The two tests complement each other. The consensus among health care experts is that no one procedure or method of imaging is solely adequate for breast cancer screening. The false negative and positive rates for mammography are too high for the procedure to be used alone. Thermography can pick up many of the cancers missed by mammography. Adding Thermography to a woman’s regular breast health care has been shown to significantly increase the rate of early detection.
Can you provide my organization with a speaker on this subject?
Yes, we certainly can. Simply contact us with a description of your organization (university, women’s group, service club, etc.), and its location, and we would be glad to reply. Since we are frequently asked to speak on this important issue, please give us ample notice before the lecture in order to provide Dr. McMinn an opportunity to schedule his talk for you. If you are interested in other topics related to optimal wellness for men and women, Dr. McMinn is also available to speak on a variety of such topics.