Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging is a unique technology that takes a picture and creates a map of the infrared patterns of the body. It is different than other screening tools because it helps us to see function (physiology). MRI and X-ray detect anatomical changes so will miss such things as active inflammation or angiogenesis (increased blood supply as found in cancer) . It was approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening in 1982. It can detect early danger signs in the body years before other tools. It has been shown to be effective in finding early signs of breast cancer up to 8 years before the mammogram.
There are 3 areas that Thermography is useful:
A full body screening covers all regions of the body with no less than 28 images. A region of interest can be used for focalized screening such as breast screening, thyroid, etc.
Thermography has been comprehensively researched for over 30 years. While it is not a replacement for Mammography, it may have many valuable assets including: earlier detection of neovascular(blood supply) patterns, adjunct to inconclusive mammograms, improved detection for women with dense breasts or implants or a reasonable alternative for women who refuse mammogram. Below is a sample of the over 800 studies in the index-medicus. They represent some of the important findings and value of thermography.
Like many alternative diagnostic tools or treatments, the facts are not always disclosed. Thermography was summarily dropped from breast screening in the 1980's after only 1 year of use. The reason was sited as being it detected too many false positives and therefore was not specific enough. This is ironic since the mammogram has a 65% false positive rate and recent studies have shown that it is a poor predictive tool. 90% of MD's know nothing of the technology and so are critical of that which they don't know. The other 10% seem to quote research from 22 years ago from a few small studies and ignore the plethora of positive research.
Yes, as a routine screening tool, it has been shown to be 97% effective at detecting benign vs malignant breast abnormalities. Another study tracked 1537 women with abnormal thermograms for 12 years. They had normal mammograms and physical exams. Within 5 years, 40% of the women developed malignancies. The researchers commented ""an abnormal thermogram is the single most important marker of high risk for the future development of breast cancer" These results have been repeated over and over again for nearly 30 years.
While a variety of studies have called into question the safety of cumulative exposures to radiation, this is not the case with Thermography. Thermography emits nothing, it only takes an image. Nothing touches you and it is quick and painless. This all makes Thermography great for frequent screening with no chance of danger.
The images are sent via a secured server to Physicians Insight Clinical Interpretation where a professional group of physicians who are trained in the protocols of reading Thermal images interpret the images. A very formal interpretation is made and sent to us where we will review the results and make suggestions or referrals if necessary. You are given a copy of the report and frequently we send copies of the reports to physicians for their records.
Thermography is not diagnostic but gives early risk factors. This is great news because an abnormal result from a thermogram often buys time so that natural interventions such as herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes can influence the outcome. At the least, the condition can be closely monitored safely until conventional interventions need to be applied. It is important to recognize that early detection is the key to a good outcome. We will make recommendations or referrals as necessary.
Researchers screened 4,621 asymptomatic women, 35% whom were under age 35 y.o. and detected 24 cancers (7.6 per 1000) with a sensitivity and specificity of 98.3% and 93.5% respectively
Compared results of Infrared imaging prior to biopsy. The researchers determined that Thermography offers a safe, noninvasive procedure that would be valuable as an adjunct to mammography in determining whether a lesion is benign or malignant with a 99% predictive value.
From a patient base of 58,000 women screened with thermography, researchers followed 1,527 patients with initially healthy breasts and abnormal thermograms for 12 years. Of this group, 40% developed malignancies within 5 years. The study concluded that "an abnormal thermogram is the single most important marker of high risk for the future development of breast cancer"
Spitalier and associates screened 61,000 women using thermography over a 10 year period. The false negative and positive rate was found to be 11% (89% sensitivity and specificity). 91% of the nonpalpable cancers (T0 rating) were detected by thermography. Of all the patients with cancer, thermography alone was the first alarm in 60% of cases. The authors noted "in patients having no clinical or radiographic suspicion of malignancy, a persistent abnormal breast thermogram represents the highest known risk factor for the future development of breast cancer"
Since the early days of thermography in the 1950s, image processing techniques, sensitivity of thermal sensors and spatial resolution have progressed greatly, holding out fresh promise for infrared (IR) imaging techniques. Applications in civil, industrial and healthcare fields are thus reaching a high level of technical performance. In many diseases there are variations in blood flow, and these in turn affect the skin temperature. IR imaging offers a useful and non-invasive approach to the diagnosis and treatment (as therapeutic aids) of many disorders, in particular in the areas of rheumatology, dermatology, orthopaedics and circulatory abnormalities. This paper reviews many usages (and hence the limitations) of thermography in biomedical fields.
Not to worry...Thermal Imaging is completely SAFE, PAIN-FREE, PRIVATE and the MOST ADVANCED IMAGING TOOL AVAILABLE TODAY!
Give yourself the gift of the earliest possible detection, PROVIDING the earliest possible intervention!