Breast Thermography

Breast thermography or digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) is a 15 minute non invasive test of physiology that emits no radiation. It is a valuable procedure for alerting your doctor to changes that can indicate early stage breast disease. DITI can detect vascular and sympathetic nervous system changes in the breasts 5+ years before other detection methods. It may take 5-8 years for a tumor to grow to a size that is detectable with other imaging methods.

As a physiologic test, thermography demonstrates heat patterns that are strongly indicative of breast abnormality. The test can detect subtle changes in breast temperature that indicate a variety of breast diseases and abnormalities. If abnormal heat patterns are detected in the breast, follow-up procedures including mammography are necessary to rule out or properly diagnose cancer and a host of other breast diseases such as fibrocystic syndrome, Pagets disease, etc..

The first session provides Part 1 of your “thermal signature”. A subsequent Part 2 session (comparative study), about 3 months later, assures that the thermal patterns are unchanged. Part 2 is the baseline provided nothing has changed from Part 1. This baseline test is important to each individual, because every woman has a unique thermal pattern. These tests form your stable thermal pattern and any changes can then be detected during your routine annual studies. All patient thermograms (breast images) are kept on record and form a baseline for all future routine evaluation.

Who can benefit from DITI?

Any woman over the age of 23 can benefit from DITI (thermography) breast screening. However, it is particularly appropriate for women in their 30’s, 40’s, & 50’s whose dense breast tissue makes it difficult for mammography to be effective. It can be used on women of all ages who, for many reasons, are unable or unwilling to undergo routine mammography.

One third of all breast cancers occur in women below the age of 45. In this pre-menopausal age group mammography is less accurate in picking up cancers because pre-menopausal women have denser breast tissue than post-menopausal women. Dense breast tissue is not an issue with thermography. Thermography is an adjunct to mammography and can be used safely at any age over 23.

Thermography, with its non-radiation, non-contact and low-cost basis has been clearly demonstrated to be a valuable and safe early risk marker of breast pathology, and an excellent case management tool for the ongoing monitoring and treatment of breast disease when used under carefully controlled clinical protocols.