Frequently Asked Questions:
What is thermography?
Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging(DITI), or Thermography, is an FDA approved, non-invasive, radiation-free imaging technology used to measure and map the heat on the surface of the body using an ultra-sensitive medical infrared camera. Thermography is based on the idea that temperature rises in areas with increased blood flow and metabolism, and it can be used as a risk assessment tool to detect and monitor abnormal physiology in the body. By carefully examining changes in the temperature and blood vessels, signs of possible cancer or pre-cancerous cell growth may be detected several years prior to being discovered using other diagnostic procedures.
Thermography has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive diagnostic screening tool for breast cancer and other uses such as: peripheral vascular disease, neuromusculoskeletal disorders, extracranial cerebral and facial vascular disease, thyroid gland abnormalities, and various other neoplastic, metabolic and inflammatory conditions. Thermography is not meant to replace standard of care medical imaging systems, but, rather to complement them and add information not available in other medical imaging systems.
Is thermography safe?
YES! Thermography is as safe as having your picture taken. There is no radiation exposure or anything invasive about the test. It was FDA approved in 1982 as an adjunct to mammography. For breast thermography in particular, it is safe for any woman 20 years or older, pregnant or lactating women, and women who have had breast implants or reductions or who have had previous cancer surgeries.
Is thermography covered by insurance?
Thermography is currently not covered by most insurances, however, it is covered by most FSA and HSA programs. Also, grants to help pay for breast thermography scans are available through the United Breast Cancer Foundation(UBCF) at http://ubcf.org/breast-screening. Applications are open when funding is available. If you do not see the application link then funding has been maxed for the month. Applications typically re open the first of each month. From their site:
Are you a woman or man in need of a breast screening? UBCF will assist you with a free or low cost breast screening regardless of age, income, gender, race, ethnicity or health insurance coverage. UBCF funds a variety of breast screening technologies, from mammography and ultrasound to breast thermography and MRI. Please note, due to the great need for this program, UBCF is unable to assist with screenings that have already taken place. In order to receive UBCF support, please apply for a breast screening and receive your approval before you receive your breast screening.
Breast Screening Pay It Forward Contribution
Kindly submit your Pay It Forward Contribution of $5.00 in order to access the Breast Screening Program application. Please know that your Pay It Forward Contribution is immediately invested back into the Breast Screening Program to assist women and men just like you. Once you have submitted your application, we will be in touch with you within 3 business days. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have more information regarding breast thermography?
Breast thermography measures differences in infrared heat emission from normal breast tissue, benign breast abnormalities (such as fibrocystic disease, cysts, infections and benign tumors) and breast cancer. It does this with a high degree of sensitivity and accuracy. It is a non-invasive measurement of the physiology (function) of the breast tissue, rather than the anatomy (structure) which other imaging such mammography, sonograms, and MRIs may identify.
Tumor tissue does not have an intact sympathetic nervous system and therefore it cannot regulate heat loss. When the breast is cooled in a room kept at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, blood vessels of normal tissue respond by constricting to conserve heat while tumor tissue remains hot. Thus, tumors emit more heat than their surrounding tissues and are usually more easily detected. As the disease progresses, cancerous tissues stay hot, they do not cool down. In contrast, other conditions such as fibrocystic breasts, infections, inflammation disorders cool down as they resolve.
Breast thermograms find highly specific thermal patterns in each individual woman. They provide a unique “thermal signature” that remains constant over years unless there is a change in an underlying condition. For this reason it is important to have a benchmark early in a woman’s life, beginning at age 20-25. Then, over time it is possible to differentiate between cancer and benign conditions.
Most breast cancers do not become palpable until they are larger than one centimeter and often by that time 25% have already metastasized. Thermograms detect changes that precede breast cancer. An asymmetrical increase in temperature is a sign that physiological changes are occurring. Published studies confirm that thermography is an important adjunctive imaging modality for breast health. False-positive results are a criticism of breast thermograms; however, the positive result may actually be a forewarning of physiological changes in breast tissue that cannot yet be identified by anatomical imaging modalities such as x-ray, mammogram, or ultrasound.
What is the frequency of follow-ups for breast thermography?
Breast imaging is recommended based on Thermobiological Risk Ratings, (like the Bi-Rads scale used in mammography). Those thermobiological risk ratings range from TH1 (lowest risk) to TH5 (highest risk). Low/lowest levels of risk (TH1 and TH2) correspond to a 12-month follow-up, medium level of risk (TH3) corresponds to a 6-month follow up, and the high/highest levels of risk (TH4 and TH5) correspond to 3-months. So, unlike most other thermographers, we do NOT recommend that every first-time client repeat their service in just 3 months.
Who will be reviewing my images and writing the report?
Dr. Jay H. Mead MD, FASCP
Dr. Mead is a Board Certified Pathologist with 17 years of experience as a Thermologist interpreting thermograms, and he has interpreted over 10,000 studies. Dr Mead is a Founder and Medical Director of Labrix Clinical Services Inc. He is a leading expert in the science behind salivary hormone and urinary neurotransmitter testing. Dr. Mead is also a retired USAF Flight Surgeon. Dr Mead was a cofounder of a progressive and highly successful full service complementary and alternative medical clinic, where they utilized IV nutrition, chelation and BHRT as the cornerstones to optimal wellness. He has board certification in blood banking and lead the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Red Cross as the Chief Medical Officer for over 10 years. Dr Mead is the co-author of the popular book: Slim, Sane and Sexy; Pocket Guide to Natural, Bioidentical Hormone Balancing (3 rd printing; Fountain of Youth Press, www.slimsaneandsexy.com). Dr Mead is an expert speaker and educator in the areas of Men’s Health, BHRT, Breast Health, Neurodegenerative Disease, MS and autoimmunity and other topics in Integrative Medicine.
Do you have more information regarding dental thermography?
Our oral health affects our whole body health. There is strong evidence linking oral infection to other diseases throughout the body. Many prominent researchers and healthcare professionals believe that clearing up one's oral health is essential to preventing and overcoming numerous diseases and health conditions. If you've had root canals, wisdom tooth removal or tooth extractions, read on to find out how thermal imaging is a valuable tool to help find clarity and regain control of your oral health.
How does oral infection affect other areas of the body?
Root canals, wisdom tooth removal, and other dental extractions can cause tiny pockets, or cavitations, in the mouth where microorganisms such as bacteria and various pathogens can live, grow, and colonize, creating an oral infection.
Since our body is highly inter-connected, pathogens and bacteria in the mouth easily enter the blood stream spreading infection to other areas of the body. Via the lymphatic system, infection in the mouth can drain down the neck, thru lymph nodes, and down into the chest. Thus oral infection can influence diseases like arthritis, heart disease, Lyme disease, cancer, kidney disease, neurological diseases, auto-immune/lupus, Alzheimer's/MS, and breast cancer.
The majority of oral infections go unnoticed. Standard dentistry does not use tools that detect most oral infection. In most cases, individuals are usually unaware of infection and feel nothing unusual.
If you’ve had root canals, wisdom tooth removal, or tooth extractions, here are a
few initial steps to find clarity & regain control of your oral health:
1. Medical Thermography
Thermal imaging is a non-invasive, safe, and affordable first step in exploring the possibility of oral infection. Thermal scans of the face and neck can detect unusual inflammation indicating possible infection. There's no radiation & no body contact, so it's painless.
2. Biological Dentistry
If inflammation is found on a thermal scan, a biological dentist would have the proper tools to check for cavitation, run tests for pathogens, and depending on the results, set up an action plan.