No, you do not need a referral and may schedule directly with us.
Generally, these reports occur because an isolated thermography business is using the technology incorrectly or making false claims about what it does. When used correctly and the personnel are properly trained, and guidelines are strictly followed, thermography can be an extraordinarily valuable tool that gives us information about the state of your physiology and health that no other technology is able to do. It plays a very important role in helping to monitor your overall health and guide you on your healing journey.
NO. A procedure that looks at the health of the breasts does not replace a procedure that is looking for cancer. Mammography is a cancer-screening procedure that uses radiation. It is strictly looking for signs that cancer may be present. Thermography is a differential temperature study of the breasts and is looking for signs to determine the state of your breast health. Thermography is not used to mine for breast cancer. Rather, it is a very valuable tool for us to monitor your breast health and alert us to when there is a change. If there is, it’s a message that it is time for you to make your health a priority by improving your diet and lifestyle, and taking a few nutritional supplements. Thermography is able to monitor the improvements in your health and give you peace of mind as you restore yourself back to balance and good health.
No! The technologies are completely different. One cannot compare a functional imaging technology to a structural imaging tool. For example, an EKG does not replace an echocardiogram. The 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 strengths and weaknesses. Thermography, as well as all the other breast imaging tests, are not meant to be a “stand alone” tests. Research shows a combination of test such as thermography with an anatomical test such as an ultrasound, along with physical examination gives us the best results.
The use of the cold-challenge (placing the patient’s hands in ice-water, using ice mitts, or using ice packs placed on the mid-back) was stopped in the late 1980’s. The research at the time showed that using the cold-challenge did not increase the sensitivity or specificity of breast thermography. What we are finding is that some offices have websites telling women that they should never go to any office or imaging center that is not doing the cold-challenge. We have no idea why they are doing this as this is simply false information. Fortunately, the number of offices we see doing this is decreasing.
Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the problem was so bad that Dr. William Hobbins (the leading expert in breast thermography at the time) encouraged Dr. William Amalu, DC, DABCT, FIACT (Board certified clinical thermologist) to review his database of cold-challenges and present a paper at the yearly symposium of the American Academy of Thermology (AAT). Dr. Hobbins and other experts in this field were concerned that these misleading offices were claiming that experts in this field were missing things by not performing breast thermography correctly. The paper went on to be presented at the international conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. The end result was acceptance of the paper for peer-review and publication
As recently as 2013, the AAT formed a standards and guidelines committee that included Dr. Amalu, along with Dr. William Hobbins and a group of experts in this field, to review the current status of breast thermography and create an updated internationally peer-reviewed standards and guidelines document. With regard to the cold-challenge, a review of the literature along with a consensus among the experts reaffirmed that the cold-challenge did not improve the sensitivity or specificity of breast thermography; and as such, its use was not necessary to provide accurate infrared imaging of the breast.
The highest use of thermography is to thermally monitor dynamic changes in general health. We recommend you choose to have a thermal examination to include multiple areas of your body for your first exam, which offers you the greatest benefit of thermography. If you choose only a breast exam for your initial thermal exam, it will provide limited information regarding your general health.
Because thermography simply measures the surface temperature of the skin and can only see to a depth of 5mm. How do we know this? Research studies were performed long ago using both animals and humans. Multiple volunteers had heat generating modules surgically implanted at varying depths from the bone to the surface of the skin. The surgical procedures were allowed to completely heal and baseline MIR images taken to demonstrate normal thermal patterns. Each module was turned on individually and heated to just under the point of causing cellular death (This is well over any temperature that would be generated from a pathology). It was discovered that until the heat source was within 5mm of the surface of the skin it could not be detected. Now, has infrared technology advanced since then? Absolutely, but have the laws of thermodynamics changed? When asked if these “new” imaging systems have undergone research by reproducing these studies you will find that the answer is no. Until they do there is no proof.
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