Physiological activity (normal or abnormal) requires energy and thus generates heat. Thermography uses infrared thermal imaging to detect this heat, and displays the results in different colours. For example; increased blood supply to one breast compared to the other will show the breast with red areas, or an early image compared to a later image reveals red, blue and green differences on the scan.
In fig. 1 we can see 12 years of consecutive scans, the first being the baseline scan. The comparison to the baseline scan and the symmetry between the breast indicate no abnormal physiological activity.
Once you have had your baseline scan you can safely monitor your health by comparing it to your later annual images to observe any physiological changes – changes that tell us something is happening in your body that could later become a problem eg a tumour. These physiological changes can show themselves on the thermal image 5-10 years before any tumours actually develop (depending on when you have your baseline scan and whether or not it shows an abnormality) . Based on this observed change in your physiology compared to your first image, you can make simple alterations to your lifestyle to prevent it developing any further – prevention is always better.
It is important to distinguish between monitoring this change in physiology using thermography, versus anatomical tests such as Mammography, CT, MRI and Ultrasound which only detect structural changes like a tumour, often having developed over many years and may already be a threat to life.
In fig. 2 we can see the first thermal image (baseline scan) on the left, and later scans taken on three month intervals, revealing a physiological change in the patient’s right breast. Thermography does NOT reveal anatomical or structural changes, it DOES detect physiological changes that occur at the start or even before the tumour has started to grow – giving us very important information about the future health of the patient and an opportunity to correct the abnormality at the early stage of detection.
But, the success of Thermography depends on comparing differences between screenings over time, as demonstrated in figures 1 and 2 above. This can only be done by sticking to scheduled periodic screening, so a picture can be built of your physiological health – thus the importance of annual breast imaging using Thermography.