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What is Breast Thermography?

Breast thermography is a safe, painless diagnostic procedure that images the breasts to aid in the early detection of breast cancer. It is based on a careful analysis of skin and tissue temperatures which allow practitioners to see where there is abnormal chemical and blood vessel activity in body tissue.

It is both non-invasive and comfortable, using no radiation or compression.

Breast Thermography measures the heat that is constantly radiating from our breasts. High resolution images of the breasts are taken with an infrared camera to show temperature differences that could indicate cancerous tissue (abnormal tissue growth generates more heat than normal tissue). By carefully examining changes in the temperature and blood vessels of the breasts, signs of possible cancer or pre-cancerous cell growth may be detected up to 10 years prior to being discovered using any other procedure. 

This provides for the earliest detection of cancer possible.

How does Breast Thermography work?

The use of Digital Infrared Imaging 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 higher than in normal breast tissue. This process results in an increase in regional surface temperatures of the breast.

As cells multiply abnormally (cancerous and pre-cancerous tisue), new blood vessel growth is necessary to deliver nutrients to the site and dispose of cellular wastes. The increase in blood circulation produces an increase in regional surface heat which can be detected by sensitive thermographic equipment (Ultra-sensitive infrared cameras and sophisticated computers). Therefore, even before the actual tumor develops, precancerous tissue can be detected and a medical plan of action can be taken to treat the affected area.
Thermography is a particularly good choice for younger breasts, which tend to be denser. It doesn’t identify fibrocystic tissue, breast implants or scars as needing further investigation. It’s also good at detecting changes in the cells in the armpit area.

 Normal Image  Abnormal Image: Cancer in the left breast
 missed by a Mammogram

Is Breast Thermography safe?

Over 30 years of clinical use and more than 8 000 peer-reviewed studies in medical literature have established Thermography as a safe and effective means to examine the human body.

Themography is a non-invasive test. It simply creates an image of your breasts and body by measuring your heat. There is no contact of any kind, nor is there any pain or radiation. It is approved in the United States since 1982 and has been used in Europe for over 20 years.

Breast Thermography or Mammogram?

Following below is a brief summary of the most important differences between Breast thermography and Mammography:

  • Detects structural changes in the breast.
  • It evaluates the structure of the tissues via X-Rays.
  • By the time a mammogram is able to detect an abnormality, the tumor is likely to have been growing for years. At this point it is often too late to implement preventive strategies alone and medical intervention is the norm of treatment.
  • It may take up to ten years for the tumor to grow to a sufficient size to be detectable by either a mammogram or a physical examination.
  • A major limitation of mammography is its inability to diagnose cancer in the case of dense breast.
  • This includes women who have been taking hormone replacement therapy, women who are nursing, have fibrocystic, large or enhanced breasts and when there is increased density of breast tissue caused by estrogen intake.
  • Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray*.
  • It compresses the breasts tightly (and often painfully), which could lead to the spread of any existing malignant cells by rupturingsmall blood vessels in or around small, as yet undetected breast cancers*.
*Dr Mercola, www.naturalhealthcenter.com

Breast Thermography

  • Is able to detect tissue abnormality in advance of the formation of a tumor. This is significant when the tumors are too small to bedetected with X-rays.
  • Even before tissue becomes cancerous (while still in the precancerous state), the metabolic activity increases in potentiallyproblem areas in comparison to the surrounding tissue.
  • This can be detected by the sensitive thermographic equipment. 
  • Thermography is done without radiation, compression, contact or needles.
  • Breast Thermography is safe for women with breast implants.
  • Scans are effective for women of all ages and with all types of breast tissue: young, dense, pregnant, breastfeeding, pre- and post-menopausal, fibrocystic, with breast implants, and when on HRT.
  • There is a 61 % increase in survival rates for women who add thermography to their regular breast-health checkup. 


Who is at risk for Breast Cancer?

All women are at risk.

Consider the following:
  • 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime*.
  • 75% of women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease*.
  • 5% of breast cancers occur in women under 49 years of age**.
  • Additional risk is associated with family history as well as lifetime exposure of the breasts to estrogen (the greatest single riskfactor), as well as an increase in estrogen activity in the breasts.

*National Cancer Institute, 2012
**Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Incidence statistics

Why is early detection so important?

It allows us to catch the cancer before it spreads.
With an advanced warning you are given valuable time and could prevent the need for a lumpectomy or mastectomy (breast removal); chemotherapy, radiation or ultimately the difference between life and death.

With thermography as your regular screening tool, it’s likely that you would have the opportunity to make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle, transforming your cells before they become cancerous. Talk about true prevention!

If treated in the earliest stages, cure rates greater than 95% are possible

Benefits of Breast Thermography

Only Breast Thermography:
  • Analyzes the temperature and vascular patterns of the breasts for signs of possible breast cancer.
  • Is able to detect 90% of malignancies.
  • Uses no radiation and produces no discomfort to the breasts.
  • Is not affected by breast size, shape, density, implants, reductions or cysts (can affect other types of screening).
  • Can detect pre-cancerous breast disease and early stage cancers too small to be detected by physical examinations and mammography.
  • In 7 out of 10 women, thermography will detect a cancerous tumor before any other test can see it.
  • Can be done more frequently than other examinations to monitor high risk women more closely.
  • When added to a woman's regular breast health checkups, a 61% increased survival rate has been realized.
  • Follow-up Thermograms are compared to your baseline images as part of the treatment monitoring process.
Non-invasive screening for younger women

Did you know that 23% of breast cancers occur in women under 49?*

This is the most common cancer in women in this age group. Breast cancers in younger women are usually more aggressive and have poorer survival rates.
Accurate screening for early detection has, until now, not been an option for younger women because younger breast tissue is denser and can make other screening procedures more difficult and less accurate.

Breast Thermography offers younger women a sensitive, non-invasive, painless addition to their regular breast health check-ups beginning with baseline screening at age 20.

Combined with an unprecedented role in risk assessment, screening for younger women, and possibly prevention, breast thermography offers women information that no other procedure can provide.


How is Thermography performed?
  • Your initial appointment will take 30 minutes for the breast thermography and 15 minutes for the consultation with the Doctor.
  • During this time a female technician (a qualified Nurse) will discuss the breast health questionnaire and a detailed health history.
  • The examination is performed in a private examination room that is climate-controlled (between 18 and 22°C).
  • You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and to cool down for 15 minutes. This is in order to become acclimated to the temperature of the room.
  • After the 15 minutes you will be positioned in front of an infrared camera.
  • The Thermography technician will take a series of images of your breasts from various angles.
  • A computerized analysis of the images is performed by the technician and Doctor. They are classified in terms of normal or abnormal and rated as to their severity.
  • A persistent abnormal thermogram can alert the Doctor to the need for further investigation and identify women who need to be more closely monitored.
When a Thermogram is abnormal even though other tests are negative, a woman is given a chance to change her future by working with her doctor to lower her risk factors.

Preparation prior to the appointment

To ensure accurate thermal images, the following guidelines should be followed:
  • On the day of your appointment, avoid using creams or other topical products on the breasts/body and any underarm antiperspirants or deodorants.
  • Do not shave.
  • Avoid exertion or exercise, hot tubs and saunas for at least 4 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine gums, patches and tobacco products.
  • No smoking at least 6 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Avoid any stimulation to the breast/body a day prior to your appointment (no chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage or use of hot or cold packs).
  • If you are nursing, do so as far from 1 hour before your appointment.
  • Avoid sun or tanning bed exposure to the breasts/body at least 5 days prior to the thermographic appointment.
  • Please do not wear any scented products to appointments, including perfume, aftershave, scented deodorant, hair products or fabric scents.
Typical candidates for Breast Thermography

Thermograms benefit all women.
They may be particularly useful for young women who want to monitor their breast health before the recommended age of 40. Actually, your breast cancer prevention should start as early as possible.

If you are a woman, you need to take your breast health seriously.

Typical candidates include:
  • All women over 20 looking to assess their risk for developing breast cancer.
  • Large breasted women or women with augmentation who may be experiencing difficulties with other imaging procedures.
  • Women with fibrocystic breasts or other benign breast diseases.
  • Women with a lump or other breast condition looking to evaluate it further.
  • Breast cancer survivors monitoring for possible recurrence.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and the risk increases with age.
How often should it be done?

Just as unique as a fingerprint, each patient has a particular infrared map of their breasts. Any modification of this infrared map can constitute an early sign of an abnormality. Consequently, in the absence of other positive tests, an abnormal infrared image gives a woman an early warning. By maintaining close monitoring of your breast health you have a much better chance of detecting cancer at its earliest stage and preventing invasive tumour growth.

Annual thermograms allow you to map changes in your body's heat patterns over time. They can alert you to any deviations from your norm. Mapping your health annually helps you detect changes, often before disease develops.

 BEFORE Treatment  AFTER Treatment
The pre-treatment images display a specific vascular
pattern typical of estrogen dominance / progesterone
The post-treatment images show a marked improvement
after 6 months administration of transdermal
The implications in breast cancer prevention are significant!

  • Age 20: Initial baseline Thermogram
  • Age 30 and over: Annual Thermogram
Remember: Thermography is completely safe (no radiation) and painless and can be done more frequently than other exams to monitor high risk patients.

Studies show that an abnormal infrared image is the single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer, 10 times more significant than a family history of the disease.


Contact the Nurse to make an appointment for your Breast Thermography.
Educate family and friends about Breast Thermography.

Taking action now can save breasts and lives!

- WHO Global Burden of Disease,2004
- American Cancer society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, 2005-2006
- Breast Cancer:Breast Cancer in Young Women WebMD. (Retrieved 9 September 2009)
- Anders CK, Hsu DS, Broadwater G, et al. Young age at diagnosis correlates with worse prognosis and defines a subset of breast cancers with shared patterns of gene expression. J Clin Oncol. Tul 10 2008:26(20):3324-3330

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