Is Thermography (Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging) safe?
Yes, thermography is safe, FDA approved, and has been in use for over twenty years. It is a painless, non-invasive technique that does not involve radiation.
What is the difference between breast thermography and mammography. Can I use thermography to replace my yearly mammograms?
Thermography detects the emissions of radiant heat from the body. It involves no radiation or compression, and views a larger area. It is a test of physiology that has the potential to detect cancerous conditions in the breast up to eight years earlier than mammography. This gives patients time to re-balance hormones through diet, supplementation, energy work and lifestyle changes.
Mammography detects structure/anatomy, such as a tumor. It has a smaller imaging area, includes radiation and compression.
Thermography is not suggested as a replacement or alternative for mammograms. Taken together, thermography and mammography are complementary procedures that can lead to the earliest possible detection.
Do I need a referral from my family physician?
No, a referral is not necessary.
Is thermography covered by health insurance?
There is no diagnostic code for Thermography. We suggest you call your health insurance company, and ask if thermograms are a covered benefit. We require payment at the time of service, and can provide you with a statement to forward to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Who is qualified to take and interpret Digital Infrared Images:
Rachel Mazzarelli is a Certified Clinical Thermographer through the American College of Clinical Thermology. The team of EMI doctors are board certified MD's who are also certified to read thermograms.
I’ve been told that a “cold-challenge must be done in order to achieve an accurate reading of a thermogram. Is this true?
The use of the cold-challenge (placing the patient's hands in ice-water or using ice packs placed on the mid-back) was discontinued in the late 1980's. Originally thought to improve the sensitivity and specificity of a breast thermogram, a review of clinical literature, as well as consensus among experts resulted in this practice being discontinued.
How long does it take?
From start to finish your appointment should take about 30 minutes, including the time needed to review your health history information, allow your body to acclimate to the temperature in the room and imaging. The imaging itself takes under three minutes, slightly longer for a full body scan.
How often will I need to rescan?
We recommend rescanning annually, or once every two years. If your thermogram shows changes, depending on the level of risk, you will be asked to rescan sooner. If you are scanning to monitor the progress of therapy or treatment protocols, your doctor will guide you.
What if the thermogram finds anything suspicious? What do I do?
If the thermogram says the clinical correlation is urgent, you need to take the report to your doctor for further testing. If your doctor does not respond, please inform us. We will contact the doctor directly to give further clarification. Thermography is a scientifically viable, FDA approved screening tool. If the scans detect warning signs, these signs should not be ignored.
Have there been clinical studies done showing the accuracy of thermography?
Yes, over 800 peer-reviewed studies on breast thermography have been conducted. Over 300,000 women have been studied, some having been followed for up to 12 years. These trials have shown the many benefits of thermal imaging and its ability to detect the first signs of cancer, up to eight years before any other procedures.