What is Thermography?
Digital Infrared Imaging (Thermography) is a noninvasive, adjunctive diagnostic technique that visualizes and records changes in surface skin temperature. An infrared camera is used to produce the visual image; which graphically maps the body temperature and is referred to as a thermogram. Just as it is well known that core temperature yields valuable information on the clinical status of a person, surface temperature has been shown to produce invaluable information on the normal and abnormal functioning of the sensory and sympathetic nervous system, vascular system, musculoskeletal system and local inflammatory processes.
The most well known use of Thermography has been as an adjunctive diagnostic screening tool for the detection of breast cancer. Current methods used to detect suspicious signs of breast cancer depend primarily on the combination of both physical examination and mammography. While this approach has become the mainstay of early breast cancer detection, more is needed. Since the absolute prevention of breast cancer has not become a reality as of yet, efforts must be directed at detecting breast cancer at its earliest stage. Digital Infrared Imaging's ability to detect thermal signs that may suggest a pre-cancerous state of the breast, or signs of cancer at an extremely early stage, lies in its unique capability of monitoring the temperature variations produced by the earliest changes in tissue physiology (function).
However, Thermography does not have the ability to pinpoint the location of a tumor nor can it detect 100% of all cancers. Consequently, Thermography's role is in addition to mammography and physical examination, not in lieu of. They complement each other. Since it has been determined that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, we must use every means possible to detect cancers when there is the greatest chance for survival. Proper use of breast self-exams, physician exams, Thermography and Mammography together provide the earliest detection system available to date. If treated in the earliest stages, cure rates greater than 95% are possible.