Is thermography safe?
YES!!! Thermography uses no radiation or intravenous access and does not touch the body. The procedure is painless, completely safe, and FDA approved as an adjunctive imaging procedure. Thermography does not replace another form of imaging, but is designed to be used in addition to other tests to provide physiological information that cannot be obtained from any other examination procedure.
Is thermography experimental?
No! Based upon the available research datat at the time, the U.S. Department of Health education and Welfare (HEW) determined that thermography was beyond the experimental stage in 1972. Thermography was approved as an adjunctive imaging procedure by the FDA in 1982 (Federal Register, Vol 47, No. 20, pp 4419-4420). The FDA approved thermography as follows: “Telethermographic systems intended for adjunctive diagnostic screening for the detection of breast cancer or other uses” (Code of Federal Regulations—Title 21, Section 884.2980 Telethermographic Systems).
Do I need a referral from my health care provider?
No you do not need a referral and may schedule directly with our office.
Is thermography covered by Insurance?
Most insurance companies will not cover this service. You can however use your health saving account (HAS) to pay for services.
Is Thermography a replacement or alternative to X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT or any other type of imaging?
No… The technologies are completely different. One cannot compare a functional imaging technology to a structural imaging technology. For example, an EKG does not replace an echocardiogram. These two technologies look at the heart in a completely different way, yet they complement each other. Thermography provides information about the body that no other technology can offer, but it does not replace them. The reason why there are so many different medical imaging technologies is because no one technology can do it all. They all have strength and weaknesses.
Thermography does not replace any other form of imaging, but is designed to be used in addition to other tests to provide physiological information that cannot be obtained from other examination procedures. Thermography is an adjunctive physiologic imagining procedure that does not look inside the body. If you are interested in looking for structural changes such as broken bones, or viewing the colon, female reproductive organs, or the arteries of the heart then structural imaging studies (e.g. MRI, CT, Ultrasound) would be good choices.
Does thermography replace mammograms?
The short answer is no. However, do mammograms replace thermography? The answer is also no. The two tests complement each other. Thermography should be used in addition to other imaging technologies as part of a woman’s regular breast health. The consensus among health care experts is that no one procedure or method of imaging is solely adequate for breast cancer screening. Thermography may pick up thermal markers that indicate the risk of cancers not detected by other tests. An abnormal infrared image is also the single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer in the future. It is thermography’s unique ability to monitor the abnormal temperature (physiological) and blood vessel changes produced by pathological breast tissue that allows for extremely early detection. Since it has been determined that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, we should use every means possible to detect these tumors when there is the greatest chance for survival. Adding these tests together significantly increases the chance of early detection.
Keep in mind that no one test or imaging technology can provide a warning for 100% of all cases. As such, all tests and imaging technologies are adjunctive. As an example, no doctor would tell a woman that all she needs is a mammogram and that she does not need to come in for her yearly physical breast exam. All doctors know that a certain number of breast cancers will be detected on a physical exam of the breasts and not detected on a mammogram. As such, a mammogram is also adjunctive—it must be used along with a yearly physical exam of the breast.
It should be understood that all of these imaging technologies (thermography included) cannot tell you if you have breast cancer. They only provide a certain amount of suspicion based on what the individual technology “sees”. Only a biopsy can tell you if you have breast cancer.