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, DITI demonstrates heat patterns that area strongly indicative of breast abnormality. The test can detect subtle changes in breast temperature that indicate a variety of breast diseases and abnormailities. 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..
This quick and easy test starts with your medical history being taken before you partially disrobe for the scanning to be performed. The first session provides the base line of your "thermal signature". A subsequent session, about 3 months later, assures that the thermal patterns are unchanged. 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 evaluations.
Who can benefit from DITI?
All women can benefit from DITI breast screening. However, it is particularly appropriate for women in their 30's, 40's, & 50's whose denser breast tissue make 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 routne 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 FDA adjunct to mammography and can be used safely at any age.