Monday, April 22nd 2013
What is Breast Thermography?
Breast thermography is a test that can assist in monitoring breast health and early changes associated with breast changes. It is safe, contact free and painless.
Breast thermography can provide women with a marker for breast health, and with that an opportunity to look at diet, lifestyle and other factors to help improve breast health. Women who want to take a pro-active approach to their breast health find great value in the additional information provided by thermography.
Breast Thermography Enables You To:
- Establish your baseline thermal pattern
- Monitor any changes in these patterns over time
- Assess diet, lifestyle and other interventions
Breast Thermography is:
- Suitable for women of all ages
- 100% safe
- FDA approved
Thermography is a unique breast health indicator.
How Does Breast Thermography Work?
Thermography is based on the scientific premise that changes in breast health cause an increased blood supply to the growth area. Breast thermography measures the heat generated by the circulation of blood in the breast during this process. Breast thermography can identify women with changes so they can be monitored more closely and work with their health care professional to set proactive strategies in place, through diet, environmental and lifestyle changes.
Anatomical tests, such as mammograms and ultrasound, rely on finding physical lesions (lumps). Breast thermography is a physiological test that can identify abnormal blood vessel circulation within the breast. Physiological changes are known to precede anatomical changes, therefore both anatomical and physiological information is valuable in fully assessing breast health.
Is Breast Thermography a stand alone Test?
Breast thermography is not a diagnostic or stand-alone tool in the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. It is a FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) approved adjunctive to mammography screening. When a thermogram is positive, a closer look at the patient's hormonal metabolism, diet, exposure to environmental pollution, toxins and lifestyle factors is in order. Clinical blood work in addition to ultrasound and mammography is essential. When mammography and blood work are negative or equivocal, thermographic monitoring could continue on a quarterly to semi-annual basis.
Does Thermography Replace A Mammogram?
No - each test sees different breast health characteristics. A mammogram is an anatomical test (a breast x-ray) that looks for masses in the breast tissue, while a thermogram is a physiological test that looks for changes in blood vessel circulation within the breast. Breast thermography is a test to assess breast health and monitor dietary and lifestyle changes.
In NZ, the National Screening Unit currently recommends that women aged 45 and over have screening mammograms every two years. BreastScreen Aotearoa offers free mammograms for women in the 45 to 69 eligible age range. For more information click here.
Is There a Best Time to Have Breast Thermography?
If you are still having monthly cycles your appointment is best scheduled in the first 15 days before pre-menstrual breast changes occur. If you are post menopausal you can schedule your appointment anytime.
Is Breast Thermography Safe?
Yes, thermography is a safe, non-invasive, non-contact test with no radiation. Thermography simply creates a thermal image of your breasts by measuring the heat emitted naturally by the body. Thermography is approved by the FDA and has been used in the United States and Europe for over 30 years alongside mammography.
Can Thermography Diagnose Breast Cancer?
No. Thermography identifies abnormal physiological changes in your breasts. Mammography, a type of x-ray, identifies certain structures in the breast that can potentially be cancer. With both mammography and thermography, definitive diagnosis can only be obtained through other procedures such as a biopsy.
How Much Does A Breast Thermogram Cost?
An appointment costs $199 including GST. This covers the initial imaging appointment, the analysis of the scans, and a full written report.
I have breast implants - is thermography safe?
Yes, breast implants do not interfere with thermography. Breast thermography is painless and safe, using no radiation or compression. It can be used effectively and safely for all women including pregnant or nursing women, women with dense breast tissue and women with breast implants.
What does the breast thermogram procedure involve?
After disrobing from the waist up, you sit in a temperature controlled room (approximately 18 -20°C). A number of images of the breasts are taken from different angles there is then a resting period of 10 minutes before the next set of images are taken. There is no contact with the breasts at any stage during the procedure. These images are then analysed and sent to you 5 – 7 working days following your appointment. All of our appointments are with female technicians.
At the beginning of your appointment you will be asked to disrobe from the waist up in order for the thermogram images to be taken. For this reason, it is a good idea to wear a skirt, trousers or shorts to your appointment.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, a referral is not necessary.
How often do I need a thermogram?
This depends on the results of your first thermogram. With no abnormal indications and depending on your age, we will generally recommend an annual thermogram. If your scan shows changes, depending on the level of risk, you will be asked to have a follow up appointment sooner.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Breast Cancer:
Alka Vita Drops
Clean Lean Protein
CoQ10 300mg + Vitamin D3
Enzogenol High Potency with ACE and Selenium
Good Green Stuff
Family C - 300 grams
Ultimate Greens Capsules 120's
Related health information can be found here:
Acid and alkaline forming foods
Co-enzyme Q10 is of fundamental importance for cellular energetics
DIM Plus to assist in cancer prevention
Green Tea as a medicinal beverage
Lyprinol - a Green Lipped Mussel extract to assist with arthritis
Nutrient use for specific cancers
Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress
Related articles can be found here:
Breast Cancer Risk Not Increased Among Antihistamine Users
Current Combined HRT Use Doubles Risk of Breast Cancer
Fat Intake Linked to Breast Cancer in Premenopausal Women
Flawed Research Methods May Mask a Link Between Dietary Fat and Breast Cancer
Organic Ketchup Protects Against Cancer
Soy Protein With Isoflavones Has Favorable Effect on Lipids in Postmenopausal Women
T Cell Elevation Linked With Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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