Thermography Screening for Breast HealthApr 27, 2014 01:38AM ● By Donna Ivery, M.D.
Mammography has a long history of usage and is familiar to most women. It is often described as uncomfortable, awkward and even painful. Mammography provides an effective tool to be used in early detection of breast cancer, but it also has significant limitations. These include concerns with radiation exposure, difficulty evaluating breast tissue that is dense, previously scarred or associated with implants. A narrow age range of women (50-70) who have proven reduction in death from breast cancer with routine mammography is one of the most recent drawbacks.
Digital Thermal Imaging (Thermography or DITI) of the breasts provides imaging by evaluating thermal patterns in the target tissue and assessing areas of asymmetry that indicate an abnormality. DITI uses no radiation, but has been shown in some studies to detect breast disease with a 95-97% accuracy rate, 2-5 years earlier than traditional forms of breast testing.
Thermography is an FDA registered screening method that uses an infrared camera, not radiation, to produce an image of the heat distribution in the targeted area. This powerful, non-invasive test can detect subtle physiologic changes even in dense breast tissue. Abnormalities in the image may suggest vascular changes associated with early-stage cancer. There are no age limitations for patients who seek this service. The procedure is painless, requires no contact with the body, and requires 15-25 minutes for one body area.
Contrary to popular belief, the availability of Breast Thermography is not new. In 1981, Michel Gautherie, Ph.D. and his colleagues reported on a 10-year study, which found that an abnormal thermogram was 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than even having a history of breast cancer in your family. With the growing threat of breast disease, more women are demanding safer, less invasive ways of monitoring breast health. Thermography provides that alternative screening method for many women.
Monthly Thermography sessions, provided by Mobile Thermographic Imaging, are available at HerCare of Brevard. Dr. Donna G. Ivery offers a wide range of services in women's health, bioidentical hormones and functional medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. Visit HerCareofBrevard.com for upcoming Thermography session dates and appointment registration.