Thermography is different than other invasive techniques, such as mammography, an x-ray, that penetrate the body with harmful radiation. Whereas thermography is non-invasive and radiation-free Most other diagnostic equipment, such as ultrasounds, MRIs, and sonograms, detects anatomical (tumor) issues, but thermography investigates physiological responses and patterns. Thermography can see the physiological changes in the body that can develop breast health issues, such as cancer. It can also be used for detecting and recording more advanced stages of breast malignancy when proper protocols are used. This system can detect cancer risks at a very early stage, as well showows hormone imbalance and other benign conditions. Infrared imaging shows subtle and dramatic temperature differences that correlate with various types of breast pathology. Thermal imaging is also of great value in monitoring the effectiveness of breast cancer and breast health treatments.
Our Breast Stress Study System, cold water challenge thermographic examination, is performed in a controlled 20°C or 68°F ambient room to challenge the body, starting at a neutral skin temperature. Then with a colder temperature which causes a “fight or flight” response to occur and this, in turn, causes the blood vessels to constrict forcing blood inward to protect the vital organs.
The nitric oxide that is present in the breast, as a result of malignant tumor development, does not allow the blood vessels to constrict near the tumor. Only the normal vessels constrict and the abnormal vessels tend to remain dilated when challenged with the cold-water hand soak. A second series of images is taken following the cold challenge to determine the physiological response. Temperature, thermal, and vascular changes, as well as symmetry of breast tissue, are measured from first to second studies provide one of the most critical factors for evaluation of the breasts.
We treat all patients with respect and privacy. Each patient is placed behind a privacy screen when all scans are taken, without touching or contact from any machine. We see the images of the thermal scans recorded through a FLIR FDA-approved Infrared Camera saved to a specialized computer program, for Dr. Claire to read. The report is scored using our very specific scoring system, TH1 (100% normal) to TH5, to help you understand your breast health.