The use of Thermography is based on the principle that metabolic activity and vascular circulation in both pre-cancerous tissue and the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than in normal breast tissue. In an ever-increasing need for nutrients, cancerous tumors increase circulation to their cells by holding open existing blood vessels, opening dormant vessels, and creating new ones. This process frequently results in an increase in regional surface temperatures of the breast. Thermography uses ultra-sensitive medical infrared cameras and sophisticated computers to detect, analyze, and produce high-resolution images of these temperature variations. Because of Thermography’s extreme sensitivity, these temperature variations may be among the earliest signs of breast cancer and/or a pre-cancerous state of the breast.
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. As such, the addition of Thermography to the frontline of early breast cancer detection brings a great deal of good news for women.
How Does Thermography Work?
Once in the exam room, you will undress from the waist up. For the next ten minutes your body gets used to the room temperature in our dedicated Thermography room. Then we take three images: right side, front, and left side.
Next is the “cold challenge”. You stick your hands in 53 degree water for one minute. Why? We are looking for blood vessel constriction – or lack of it. The cold water causes all of your blood vessels to constrict and drive blood to your core to keep you warm. Breast tissue responds the same way. Then we quickly take three more images.
Normal tissue will turn blue or purple because of the decreased blood flow. The vessels that feed cancer cells are different. They can not constrict, so the camera will pick that up. Also, areas of inflammation don’t constrict but are more diffuse and look different. If abnormalities are present, there are a variety of interventions that can be taken to help normalize the tissues.
No compression, no radiation, and no risk of false positives. Just stand and have your picture taken! This breast cancer screening technology is supported by more than 800 peer-reviewed studies, and is a great alternative to a mammogram. View our pricing, and schedule your Thermography appointment at Holistic Care Approach in Grand Rapids, Michigan.