Why You Should Consider Breast Thermography
Breast thermography is a non-invasive, painless and radiation-free way to receive breast risk health assessment. Thermography uses digital infrared imaging to measure skin temperature and when properly applied to breast examinations changes can be used to assess subtle changes and anomalies in the breast. One reason more women are opting for Thermography as an adjunctive breast risk assessment is that is is “non-compressive,” which means that it doesn’t squeeze or put force on the breast, as might occur during x-ray mammograms.
In addition, Breast Thermography is helpful way to in monitor physiologic changes that can occur with hormonal imbalance, lymphatic edema, ductal congestion, chest wall pain syndromes, and angiogenesis.
An Effective and Radiation-Free Tool to Monitor Your Breast Health
Breast Thermography is not meant to be a replacement for x-ray mammograms, but it has been shown to be an effective adjunct therapy that can provide vital insights into your overall breast health. Thermography is gaining increased recognition for its ability to spot physiologic changes within breast tissues years before x-ray mammograms can detect structural changes.
Similar to how high blood pressure screening is a risk assessment for vascular disease Breast Thermography is a breast risk assessment for breast disease. And when combined with other clinical diagnostic tools, it can help to distinguish between benign, early, advanced and progressive disease.
How does it work? Thermography is able to effectively measure and map even subtle breast circulatory and temperature changes in the skin. For example, sex hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, are known to affect breast circulation and physiology. That’s why several studies have shown that Thermography can monitor the effects of hormone replacement therapy, and the treatment of conditions like fibrocystic disease. It’s also enormously helpful for evaluating several musculoskeletal conditions that can impact breast health, lymphatics and associated breast and chest wall pain.
Breast Cancer Detection
The reality is that no screening tool (including x-ray mammography and ultrasound) provides 100% accuracy for breast cancer detection. However, combining Thermography with other diagnostic tools can provide your doctor with additional physiologic information that can be used for clinical decision making. No matter what study you and your doctor choose to monitor your breast health there is no question that using different studies together provides more information than using any study alone.
Here’s how it works…..
When breast tissue abnormalities exits blood flow can be altered to that area. In most, but not all cases, abnormalities are associated with increased blood flow. As a result, skin temperature in the involved areas increases compared to surrounding normal tissues. Breast thermography is able to detect those temperature changes. Additionally, if there are newly formed or engorged blood vessels, Thermography can detect those changes as well.
By closely observing breast tissue with infrared imaging, critical early changes in blood flow can be detected, along with other potentially dangerous changes.
And since highly sensitive thermal imaging is able to detect even subtle changes on the skin surface it can often detect potential abnormalities years before any structural findings become present. Just like having high blood pressure does not mean you will have a stroke having findings consistent with increased risk on breast thermography is not a good sign. Likewise, while you can have a stroke even though your blood pressure was under good control the presence of a normal thermogram does not mean you cannot have breast disease. In both instances however everyone wants to lower their risk assessment profile and for breast disease breast thermography can be a wonderful too to help do just that.
The Science is In!
While the role of breast thermography in cancer detection is still debated, many studies have supported its validity. The American Journal of Surgery reported published that Thermography identified 58 of 60 malignancies, with 97% sensitivity, 44% specificity, and 82% negative predictive value. The study concluded that Thermography is a valuable adjunct to x-ray mammography and ultrasound, especially in women with dense breast tissue.
Another study published in the American Journal of Radiology concluded that Thermography is a safe, non-invasive procedure, which is highly valuable as an adjunct to x-ray mammograms in determining whether a lesion is benign or malignant.
Today, Thermography is playing an increasingly important adjunctive role in clinical diagnosis, and in distinguishing between benign, early, advanced, and progressive diseases.
Don’t Neglect Your Breast Health!
If you’ve been understandably hesitant about getting regular mammograms, we urge you to schedule a 15-minute Thermography test with Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA. Thermography is a safe, painless and radiation-free way to receive a comprehensive assessment of breast health. If you are interested in breast thermography and would like a consultation on how it may fit into your condition as a breast risk health assessment then please feel free to call our friendly staff today to schedule an appointment: (864) 235-1834.