Thermography, or Thermal Imaging is:
- Non-compressive to the breast or body
- Non-invasive, no body contact
- Not exposing you to radiation
What is Thermography?
Thermography is a painless, non-compressive, non invasive, state-of-the-art clinical test of physiology without any exposure to radiation. This test visualizes heat and activity vs. mass and structure. It is used as part of an early detection program which gives individuals the opportunity to increase their chances of visualizing an abnormality at an early stage. It is a valuable risk assessment tool for alerting your doctor to abnormal patterns that may indicate early stage disease.
This thermographic screening can help determine functional patterns (such as thyroid function or autonomic immune function) pain, circulation and areas of inflammation. A thermogram of inflamed areas such as arthritis, back or carotid artery may be helpful to determine severity. Screenings are also helpful to visualize breast health, digestive issues, dental issues, sinus conditions and unexplained occurrences that other tests have a hard time determining. We are able to screen the full body (head to toe), or upper body (from the pelvis up), or specific area of interest such as knee, abdomen, wrist etc. in addition to the breast thermography.
Breast Thermography can detect vascularity, inflammatory and asymmetrical patterns that are visualized by the subtle physiologic patterns and changes that accompany breast pathology. When activity is found early, your doctor can plan accordingly and lay out a careful program to further diagnose and /or monitor you during and after any treatment.
Not all masses in the breast are cancerous (in fact 8 out of 10 are fibroids and fluid filled cysts.) Breast tissue is fatty and generally exudes cool temperatures in normal findings. Abnormal breast screenings on a thermal scan have a few things in common.
Asymmetry: One breast is a different temperature than the other (more than 2 degrees).
Hot Spots: Random areas of intense heat.
Vascular blood supply: Which are visible and generate heat as they feed & grow.
The benefit of breast thermography is that it offers the opportunity of earlier detection of breast disease than has been possible through breast self examination, doctor examination or mammography alone. Thermography's role in breast cancer and other breast disorders is to help in early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology and the establishment of risk factors for the development of disease. It can be used with other procedures for the best possible evaluation of breast health.
Breast Thermography Does Not Replace Mammography
These technologies are different and yield different information. A mammogram can show a structure that is already present (e.g. a tumor or calcification) while thermography measures physiologic effects and changes. These effects/changes have been shown to have a statistical correlation rather than a direct correlation to the development of breast cancer. Thermography provides a practical benefit to the general public and to the medical profession. It is used as an adjunct to the appropriate usage of mammography. In fact, thermography has the ability to identify clients at the highest risk and actually increase the effective usage of mammographic imaging procedures. Consult your physician regarding recommendations for mammography.
The Power of Prevention
This test is designed to improve chances for detecting fast-growing, active tumors in the intervals between mammographic screenings or when mammography is not indicated by screening guidelines for women under 50 years of age. By performing thermography years before conventional mammography, a selected at-risk population can be monitored carefully, and then by accurately utilizing mammography or ultrasound as soon as is possible to detect the actual lesion - (once it has grown large enough and dense enough to be seen on mammographic film), can increase the clients treatment options and ultimately improve the outcome. Researched articles on Thermography.
Until such time as a cure has been found for this terrible disease, progress must be made in the fields of risk evaluation and early detection, coupled with sound clinical decision making.
All thermograms (breast images) are kept on record and form a baseline image for monitoring future routine evaluations. Comparitive breast screenings are recommended 3-6 months after the first one to determine stability or change.
All scans are sent out to be interpreted by an outside team of medical physicians (M.D.s). The turnaround time for receiving reports is 3-7 business days. You can have your report sent to you via email, paper copy or disc copy.
Breast Thermography and Body Thermography Costs:
Breast $225, upper body (pelvic up) $375 Full body (head to toe) $475
Add on a Region of Interest to breast scan (head, abdomen, knee, etc): $75 each
Insurance generally never covers thermography, however you can use your Health Savings Account or flex-spend dollars to pay for it. A receipt will be given at time of screening for you to submit.
Breast screenings generally take about 30 minutes. Upper and full body screenings usually take about 30 minutes.
Meet Tammy Leiner, Advanced Clinical Thermographer
Tammy received her certification in Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) and completed advanced clinical training at Duke University Hospital under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Leando, President of the American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT) in 2004.
She received her advanced Level 2 training in 2007 and her Level 3 training in December 2010. She is the founder and owner of the Longevity Centers located within the five state Mid-Atlantic region and Washington D.C. She is also co-owner of the Longevity Center in Wisconsin, and has a satellite office in Chicago, Illinois.
She became interested in the digital infrared technology as a non-invasive approach to earlier detection and prevention of disease - which provides a window of opportunity for early intervention. Tammy is a passionate advocate of breast thermography - specifically, for women who want a risk assessment tool for earlier detection and prevention, less invasiveness from compression and/or harmful radiation. She believes women of all ages can benefit from annual breast thermal scans.