Frequently Asked Questions about Breast & Medical Thermography
Does Breast Thermography Replace Mammography ?
No. Thermography is a Physiologic Screening Tool, it detects heat emitted from the surface of the body which may indicate increased cellular activity and inflammation. Pre-cancerous and cancerous cells have increased metabolic demands, causing an increase in blood flow and cellular activity, this will increase heat in the local area. Mammography is an Anatomical Test, which shows actual lump formation or calcification. These tests are working on different principles and are not replacements for one and another. Thermography is best used adjunctively with mammogram for the most accurate breast health screening.
Does the FDA recognize Breast Thermography?
Yes. Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging is FDA Certified for adjunctive Breast Cancer Screening.
Is Thermography Safe?
Absolutely. There is no radiation emitted from the infrared camera. The camera does not touch the patient, and the breasts are not compressed during the procedure. The screening is quick, safe and painless.
Are these Digital Infrared Thermographic Images read by doctors?
Yes. The images are sent via secure server for medical interpretation by a group of highly-trained Board Certified Physicians at Physicians Insight. Recommendations for any further imaging will be included on your report when indicated. Your report will be sent to you or your doctor 7-10 days following the screening.
Who performs the Breast & Medical Thermography at Oregon Natural Medicine?
Physicians do! Your thermogram at Oregon Natural Medicine will be performed by one of our Naturopathic Physicians on staff, not by a technician or assistant. We strive to provide the absolute best quality imaging for our Portland, Oregon patients. Female Physicians are available for Breast/Female Scans and a Male Physician is available for Men’s Health Scans.
Is Breast & Medical Thermography 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 Breast & Medical Thermography Safe?
While a variety of studies have called into question the safety of cumulative exposures to radiation (mammograms have 1000 times the radiation of a chest x-ray), this is not the case with Thermography. Thermography emits nothing, it only takes an image. Nothing touches you and it is quick and painless. This all makes Thermography great for frequent screening with no chance of danger.
What If I get Abnormal Thermal Imaging Results? What Do I Do?
Thermography is not diagnostic but gives early risk information. This is great news because an abnormal result from a thermogram 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.
How often should I have a Breast Thermogram?
After your initial scan, a 3-month follow-up scan should be performed. This allows the Physician-Interpreters to evaluate your “thermal pattern”, or your Baseline. Once your baseline pattern has been established, breast thermograms should be done 1 time per year (unless other recommendations were indicated on your Report).
What will happen during the Breast & Medical Thermography visit at Oregon Natural Medicine?
Once you arrive at our clinic (in Northeast Portland, Oregon). You will be shown to an exam room and asked to change into a light robe. You will relax in this room for 10-15 minutes, filling out a couple of medical forms about your recent health history (this information will be given to the Medical Thermologist so that they are made aware of any health concerns you have when they are reading your images). Once you have acclimated to the comfortable room temperature, the thermographer will begin the imaging. You will be seated 3 feet in front of the Digital Infrared Camera during the imaging. The camera will never touch you, your breast will not be compressed (as they are during mammogram).
What happens after my Thermographic Imaging Visit at Oregon Natural Medicine?
The Digital Infrared Images will be sent via secure server to a group of Medical Physicians (Certified Thermologist) and they will interpret your results and send a Full Report to Oregon Natural Medicine. Your report will be mailed to your doctor 7-10 days following your appointment; you should schedule with your doctor to discuss the results. If you have self-referred, the report will be mailed to you; we invite you to schedule a follow-up appointment in-office or via phone to thoroughly discuss your findings with one of our physicians.