Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (Thermography) has been comprehensively researched (see study(1), study(2), and study(3)) for more than 30 years, and while it should not replace Mammography, it has many valuable functions, namely: 1. Heat mapping of neovascular patterns (blood supply) – giving a physiological picture of the body. 2. It is not limited by age or dense breast tissue. 3. It is 100% non-contact, no-radiation imaging procedure.
Thermography involves a procedure of taking a photographic image of a patient, producing a ‘heat map’ of the infrared patterns of the body. The procedure is based on the principle that and blood vessel activity in both pre-cancerous tissue and cancerous tissue is higher than surrounding area of the normal breast. Since pre-cancerous and cancerous tissue is highly metabolic, they need a greater supply of nutrients to maintain growth – thus increasing circulation to their cells. This process results in an increase in regional surface temperatures of the breast.
Like a fingerprint, each patient has a unique infrared map of their breasts. Any modification of this infrared map on images taken over months to years can indicate early signs of an abnormality. After taking a base thermogram and then regular series of thermograms, the patient’s physiological ‘heat map’ can be monitored to see the earliest signs of physiological abnormality. With close monitoring with serial infrared imaging, self breast exams and clinical examinations a woman has a much better chance of maintaining breast health.