Breast Thermography is a vital part of a preventative breast health program for any woman who wants a proactive, risk management breast care strategy.
What is Breast Thermography?
Breast Cancer Screening is an important part of a woman’s wellness program. We use Breast Thermography to help detect early signs of breast tissue abnormalities. Breast Thermography is:
Radiation and Compression Free
FDA approved as an adjunct to mammography
Can detect breast tissue abnormalities up to eight years before a mammogram
Advantages to Breast Thermography screening:
Does not compress or touch breast tissue.
Is safe, easy, pain free, and radiation free.
Detects changes in breast tissue that accompany abnormalities.
Images the entire breast area, including in the upper chest and underarm regions.
Differentiates between fibrocystic breast disease and masses with a risk of malignancy.
Safely screens breasts with implants and dense breast tissue.
Evaluates the post-mastectomy chest wall.
Is safe and reliable for nursing mothers.
Gives opportunity for early intervention.
Who should have a Thermogram?
Any woman desiring a risk-free, painless procedure, to screen for breast cancer is a candidate for Thermography.
What does Breast Thermography show?
Blood flow to the breast (and the rest of the body) is controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). When the body is cold, the autonomic nervous system constricts the blood vessels. Abnormal and cancerous tissues operate outside the autonomic nervous system, creating chemicals that dilate the blood vessels and completely bypass the autonomic nervous system. So when the hands are placed in cold water to cool the body, the autonomic nervous system normally constricts vessels everywhere, including the breasts. But the cancer and pre-cancer regions don’t constrict and show up as “hot spots” in the thermogram. These “hot spots” can be predictive of current and future areas of concern.
Can a Thermogram diagnose breast cancer?
Breast Thermography visually portrays physiologic changes in the breast tissue that correlate with cancer. Thermography shows earliest detection of abnormal heat patterns, which can be detectable to 8 years earlier than a standard Mammogram’s abnormalities. Breast cancer can only be diagnosed by microscopic examination of tissue by a pathologist. Although thermography can show patterns suggestive of possible cancer, thermography cannot diagnose cancer.
Are you at risk?
We recommend that women having one or more of the risk factors listed below get an annual Thermogram. The American Cancer Society says women are at risk for breast cancer if they:
Began menstruating before age 12
Have not had children
Had their first child after 30 years old
Stopped menstruating after age 50 years old
Have a personal history of radiation exposure to the chest
Have recently taken hormone replacement therapy for longer than five years.
If you are currently taking hormone replacement therapy, please consult with your provider.
Studies on Mammography:
Breast cancer screening study prompts Ontario to spend $25 million to replace mammography technology: Read the Study
Routine Mammography May Lead to Overdiagnosis: Read the Study
Busted! 8 mammogram truths every woman must know. Read the Article
What is the cost of Thermography?:
A 50 minute Thermography appointment is $225.00
For a stat reading, there is an additional $75 fee
Payment is made at the time of calling 208-658-5570 for an appointment
What to expect during an appointment:
The technician takes the images in a relaxed, private setting. The first three breast images are taken after the patient disrobes above the waist and acclimates to the room temperature for ten minutes. The patient holds her arms over her head and away from the heart, facing three different angles. A second set of identical images are taken after the hands are submerged in very cold water to lower body temperature. This creates contrast in the images. The images are sent off to a lab specializing in thermographic cancer detection and evaluated. The evaluations are then returned to your doctor.
Preparation instructions for a Breast Thermography screening:
• Wait at least three (3) months after breast surgery, including any biopsies and completing chemotherapy or radiation before a thermography screening.
• Avoid any natural or artificial tanning of your chest for two-three (2-3) days prior to the screening.
• You must not have had any fever within thirty-six (36) hours of your thermography.
• Avoid ultrasound, mammogram, breast stimulation and clinical physical examination of the breasts for at least three (3) days prior to screening.
• Make sure there are no bruises, rashes, or skin irritation in the breast area on the day of the study.
• No hot yoga, sauna, steam-room or hot/cold packs in contact with the breasts for at least twenty-four (24) hours.
• With your doctor’s permission, avoid use of the following medications for twelve (12) hours prior to the examination: Nitroglycerin, Niacin, Niacin patch, or any migraine medications (500milligrams or more)
• No exercise, bathing, or showering for one hour prior to your thermography.
• No deodorants, creams, powders or lotions that may cause an inflammation in the breast area on the day of your screening. You can bring them with you and apply after your therm.
• Don't smoke or drink caffeinated beverages or products for two (2) hours prior to your screening. This includes energy drinks/shots.
• If you currently are using a nicotine patch or any gum containing nicotine please call our office for further instructions.
• If you are exposed to outside environmental extremes, such as very cold or warm temperatures, we will ask you to acclimate to room temperature for about fifteen to twenty (15-20 minutes) before your screening.
• Breastfeeding? Please empty your breasts thirty to sixty (30-60) minutes before your appointment.
• Please refrain from bringing in any beverages with you on the date of your appointment.
• Wait three (3) weeks after a laser hair removal treatment, for under the arms, before you have thermography.
Call 208-658-5570 to schedule a
Functional Medicine of Idaho – Boise
3858 N. Garden Center Way, Suite 100
Boise, Idaho 83703
Thermography Classifications Explained
A TH-1 classification shows a normal thermogram. This thermal profile does not contain any of the features associated with abnormal breast tissue. If your results are T1, we typically recommend a repeat thermogram every year.
Please Note: A TH-1 score does NOT mean that you should forego other means of routine evaluation, or disregard any concerning physical symptoms.
A TH-2 result also shows a normal thermogram, but contains thermal features frequently associated with benign (non-cancerous) functional changes. These include pregnancy, lactation, or hormone imbalances. While a TH-2 score does not indicate breast tissue abnormality, we recommend a follow up study in six months. If the results are consistent with the first study, we typically recommend a repeat thermogram every year.
Please Note: As with a TH-1, a TH-2 score does NOT mean that you should forego other means of routine evaluation, or disregard any concerning physical symptoms.
A TH-3 result shows a profile of unusual breast tissue processes and/or blood vessels associated with a minor risk (less than 10 – 20% as specified in your individual report) for a diagnosis of breast cancer. It is more likely that these features are benign in nature, such as inflammation, acute cysts, infection, fibro-adenoma, or simply your own personal breast tissue profile. We recommend that you review your thermography report with your personal physician and decide a course of action. Clinical experience suggests that targeted ultrasound can be the single most effective means of follow-up to an unusual breast study.
We recommend ongoing risk management including:
–Consult with your personal physician and obtain a physical examination of your breasts
–With your personal physician, determine a plan for comprehensive breast examination that might include targeted ultrasound, MRI and/or a mammogram.
–Schedule a thermography restudy according to the schedule recommended in the report.
TH-4 and TH-5
These results show tissue abnormalities such as characteristic blood vessel features and/or metabolic conditions that can be consistent with breast cancer. These are NOT a diagnosis of breast cancer, and you should be aware that an abnormal thermography report can show breast tissue issues years before they will appear on more traditional testing methods.
If your thermography report shows a TH-4 or TH-5, our office recommends that you consult with your personal physician as soon as possible, and obtain prompt and comprehensive testing for breast cancer.
We are here to help you! It is our intent to efficiently communicate with our patients and promptly answer any questions.
Call 208-658-5570 to schedule your Therm appt!
Functional Medicine of Idaho – Boise
3858 N. Garden Center Way, Suite 100
Boise, Idaho 83703