December 12, 2013
Thermography, like mammography is a screening tool. Thermography (otherwise known as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or DITI) identifies abnormal physiological changes in your breasts that may be cancerous, and can detect these changes years before a tumor can be seen on x-ray or palpation during and exam - thereby truly offering early detection. Mammography, a type of x-ray which therefore uses radiation, identifies certain structures in the breast that can potentially be cancer. With both Mammography and DITI, definitive diagnosis is done by other procedures such as a biopsy or lumpectomy. Many of our patients come in after an abnormal “lets watch this area” mammography, and correlate the area to be watched with a thermographic image of the same area. If the thermography shows an issue in the same area, the patient will have more information with which to make an informed decision.
DITI technology has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool since 1982 and offers no radiation, no compression and no pain. For women who are searching for early breast cancer detection, digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) may be of interest.
Historically, DITI fell out of favor shortly after its initial debut in the early 80s, because when it was first introduced, strict protocols and trained technicians did not exist. There are now very strict protocols both for testing and interpreting. Perhaps due to these guidelines, thermography is exploding in its technique and capabilities. Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor.
These images are unique to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool. Tumors or other breast diseases measures warmer than surrounding tissue and can thereby alert a physician to a problem before a tumor is actually palpable.
The scan, including the time to acclimate to the room will take 20 to 30 minutes. The breasts are not squeezed or flattened as they are during a mammogram, therefore there is no pain. In fact, the camera doesn't even contact the breasts. DITI uses infrared imaging, therefore does not expose the breast tissue to potentially harmful radition.
Does Thermography replace Mammography?
Not necessarily. Current recommendations are that thermography be used together with mammography for the most comprehensive screening and the earliest possible detection.
Breast Thermography loactions near Orillia:
Dr. Laura is looking into having a breast thermography team come in to do a thermography clinic at Arborvitae. Please email or call the office if this is something that interests you - 705-259-0127.
Otherwise though, here are some clinics in our general area:
Thermography Clinic inc. Georgian Bay ~ Simcoe
Address: 271 Denmark Street, Meaford, ON N4L 1C2