What is Thermography? Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging is a unique technology that takes a picture and creates a map of the infrared patterns of the body. It is different than other screening tools because it helps us to see function (physiology). MRI and X-ray detect anatomical changes so will miss such things as active inflammation or angiogenesis (increased blood supply as found in disease). It was approved by the FDA for breast screening in 1982. It can detect early danger signs in the body years before other tools. It has been shown to be effective in finding early signs of breast disease up to 8 years before mammography may detect it. Our goal is to bring thermography to the mainstream and reveal it as the scientific, reliable and exceptionally valuable service we know it to be.
Physiological adj phys·i·o·log·i·cal\ˌfiz-ē-ə-ˈläj-i-kəl\ Medical Definition of PHYSIOLOGICAL: 1: of or relating to physiology 2: characteristic of or appropriate to an organism's healthy or normal functioning 3: differing in, involving, or affecting physiological factors <a physiological strain of bacteria>
What Can Thermography Be Used For? There are 3 areas that Thermography is useful:
Inflammatory Phenomena - This could include early detection of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Fybromyalgia or trauma such as strains, sprains or chronic pain.
Neovascular Phenomena - Cellular changes such as cancer are fed by the body’s own blood supply. This development of early vascularity is detected well before anatomical changes occur that will be detected with other screening tools.
Neurological Phenomena - Chronic regional pain syndrome, nerve irritation can cause referred pain in other areas. Circulatory deficits are easily seen in thermographic images.
Is this a proven technology? Thermography has been comprehensively researched for over 30 years. While it is not a replacement for Mammography, it may have many valuable assets including: earlier detection of neovascular (blood supply) patterns, adjunct to inconclusive mammograms, improved detection for women with dense breasts or implants or a reasonable alternative for women who refuse mammogram.
Why haven't you heard about this? Like many alternative diagnostic tools or treatments, the facts are not always disclosed. Thermography was dropped from breast screening in the 1980's after 1 year of use. The reason was sited as being it detected too many false positives and therefore was not specific enough. This is ironic since the mammogram has a 65% false positive rate and recent studies have shown that it is a poor predictive tool. 90% of MD's know nothing of the technology and so are critical of that which they don't know. The other 10% perhaps quote research from 22 years ago and ignore the plethora of positive research currently.
Is it accurate? Yes, as a routine screening tool, it has been shown to be 97% effective at detecting benign vs malignant breast abnormalities. Another study tracked 1537 women with abnormal thermograms for 12 years. They had normal mammograms and physical exams. Within 5 years, 40% of the women developed malignancies. The researchers commented ""an abnormal thermogram is the single most important marker of high risk for the future development of breast cancer" These results have been repeated over and over again for nearly 30 years.
Is It safe? While a variety of studies have called into question the safety of cumulative exposures to radiation, this is not the case with Thermography. Thermography emits nothing, it only takes an image, there is NO RADIATION. Nothing touches you and it is quick and PAINLESS. This all makes Thermography great for frequent screening with no chance of danger.
Who Reads my Images? The images are sent via a secured server to Physicians Insight Clinical Interpretation where a professional group of physicians who are trained in the protocols of reading thermal images interpret the images. A very formal interpretation is made and sent to us where we will review the results and make suggestions or referrals if necessary.
What If I get Abnormal Results? What Do I Do? Thermography is not diagnostic but gives early risk factors. This is great news because an abnormal result from a thermogram is usually so early that it often buys time so that natural interventions such as herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes can influence the outcome. At the least, the condition can be closely monitored safely until conventional interventions need to be applied. It is important to recognize that early detection is the key to a good outcome. We will make recommendations or referrals as necessary. We do not diagnose or treat cancer.