Upright MRI of Deerfield is one of the few centers in the entire state of Illinois to offer Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (also known as Thermography). This unique, non-invasive imaging procedure for the entire body, painlessly and accurately detects and monitors a number of diseases and physical injuries.
Of special interest to our female patients are breast Thermography cancer screenings, which have been found to detect early stage breast disease years before a noticeable lump has been formed. Without any radiation or painful compressions, the FDA-approved Breast Thermography cancer screening is saving lives! Contact us to learn more!
Thank you for your interest in our Thermography services.
Thermography, also known as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or DITI, is a painless, non-invasive screening test that converts infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in color on a computer monitor.
This visual image is a graphic map of body temperature, and is referred to as a Thermogram. It shows a spectrum of colors, and can indicate an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared radiation being emitted from the body’s surface. Since the normal body has a high degree of thermal symmetry, any subtle abnormal temperature asymmetry (which typically accompanies inflammation, infection, injury or disease) can easily be identified.
During the Thermography scan, our trained and certified Thermographers use a camera to capture a digital infrared thermal image. There is no exposure to radiation. There is no physical contact with the camera. A medical doctor trained in Thermology, called a Thermologist, interprets the image and provides you with a full report of the findings. If necessary, additional tests may be recommended by the doctor (such as an ultrasound, an MRI or a Mammogram) to provide further information and/or confirm the findings of the DITI.
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Of great interest to our patients are Thermography screenings for signs of breast cancer.
Thermal imaging of the breasts has been especially useful in spotting irregular heat patterns and/or vascular changes, detecting conditions that have been found to occur even before a noticeable lump is formed. As a result, many women have begun to add Thermography to their annual breast health routine knowing that this type of screening is the earliest cancer detection system available.
Unfortunately, by the time a mass is spotted through x-ray Mammography, the tumor is already years into its growth cycle. Through Breast Thermography, which observes blood flow patterns, breast cancer can be found before it reaches this stage of development.
All women can benefit from Thermography breast screening; however, it is especially important for younger women (ages 30 – 50) whose denser breast tissue makes it more difficult for Mammography to be effective. Thermography is also recommended for women with implants and for women of all ages who, for any number of reasons, may be unable to undergo routine Mammography. The beauty of Thermography is that it can provide a ‘clinical marker’ to the health professional or Mammographer to show them that a specific area of the breast needs particularly close examination.
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Breast Thermography FAQ
Following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Breast Thermography.
- What exactly is Breast Thermography?
- Are these "hot spots" cancer?
- Is Breast Thermography safe?
- Can Thermography diagnose breast cancer?
- Have any studies been done regarding the accuracy of Thermography?
- Do I need a referral from my family physician?
- How long does the breast scan take?
- How often will I need a re-scan?
- I have breast implants, is Thermography safe?
- Does Thermography replace Mammography?
- If I have annual Mammograms, why would I need Thermography?
- Why is a Breast Thermogram so effective?
- Can women who are too young for a Mammogram have a Thermogram?
- Can Thermography be used on women who have had a mastectomy?
- What do I have to do to prepare for a Thermogram?
- What can I expect during the actual scan?
- How much does Breast Thermography cost?
- Is Breast Thermography covered by insurance?
- Who performs the scans and who interprets them?
- How quickly will I receive my report?
- How can I learn more?
Breast Thermography uses an infrared (heat sensing) camera that detects heat variations in the breasts. Because infection, inflammation, active cysts and tumors can cause excess blood in the breast tissue, Thermography can find these early warning signs, sometimes called "hot spots," that can indicate a possible unhealthy condition.
Absolutely not! While locating these areas can aid in the early detection of breast cancer and inflammatory breast disease, more often than not, these areas indicate unhealthy tissue, infection, stagnant lymphatic flow, cyst activity, inflammation, an injury, scar tissue, or a hormonal imbalance. This is why we strongly recommend a follow-up scan three months after the baseline scan has been performed, and annual scans thereafter.
Yes, it is FDA approved in the United States (since 1982) and has been used here and in Europe for decades. Thermography is a non-invasive test with absolutely no radiation. This means that nothing is sent into your body. It is simply creating an image of your breasts by measuring your blood flow and body heat. There is no contact of any kind, nor is there any pain whatsoever. The test itself takes approximately 15 minutes from start to finish.
No. Thermography, like Mammography is simply a screening tool. Thermography identifies physiological changes in your breasts that may be cancerous. Mammography (which is an x-ray) identifies certain structures in the breast that can potentially be cancer. With both Mammography and Thermography, definitive diagnosis is done with other procedures such as a biopsy or lumpectomy. Many of our patients come see us after a Mammography shows an area of concern, because they want to keep an eye on that part of the breast with a Thermographic image. If the Thermogram detects something in the same area of the breast, then the patient will have more information and can make an informed decision.
Yes, hundreds of studies have been documented in medical journals. For further information, please go to: www.iact-org.org
No, a referral is not necessary. You can make the appointment on your own without a doctor’s recommendation.
Your first scan is considered a “baseline.” We then recommend a follow-up scan three months later to see if any changes have occurred since the first scan was done. With no unusual changes noted and depending on your age, we will recommend re-scanning annually. If your scan shows changes from one year to the next, depending on your level of risk, you will be asked to have a re-scan sooner than 12 months.
Yes. Breast implants do not interfere with Thermography. Breast Thermography is painless and safe, using no radiation or compression. It can be used effectively and safely for all women including pregnant or nursing women, women with dense breast tissue, and women with breast implants. It’s as easy as having your picture taken!
No, we recommend that Thermography be used together with Mammography for the most comprehensive screening and the earliest possible detection of cancer. Thermography has the ability to act as an early warning system. Studies have proven that Thermography can show abnormality in the breasts 8-10 years before any other test can detect it - even before the cells become cancerous.
The two tests complement each other. The consensus among health care experts is that no one procedure or method of imaging is solely adequate for breast cancer screening. Breast Thermography has the ability to give a warning signal in advance of invasive tumor growth. A positive infrared image is also the single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer.
It is Thermography’s unique ability to monitor the abnormal temperature (physiological) changes produced by diseased breast tissue that allows for extremely early cancer detection. Since it has been determined that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, we must use every means possible to detect these tumors when there is the greatest chance for survival. When used as part of a multi-modal approach (clinical examination + Thermography + Mammography), 95% of early stage breast cancers can be detected.
Prior to a tumor being formed, cells in the breast begin to create a cancer-friendly environment. Part of this process involves angiogenesis, which is the development of new blood vessels. These blood vessels provide a blood supply to the area for the cancer to grow. The process of angiogenesis creates heat patterns. Thermography, being sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, can detect these heat changes in the breast far earlier than any other screening methods. Numerous studies have shown that Thermography can detect the signs of developing cancer years before self examination or Mammography (by up to 10 years) and that it is a very good indicator of risk for breast cancer.
Yes! This exam is especially helpful for women not yet eligible for Mammograms. Women in the 18 to 40 age category now have another tool (in addition to a clinical breast exam) that can detect early stage breast cancer.
Yes. Thermal imaging is useful in detecting local variations in temperature in women who have had partial or radical mastectomy, as part of their follow-up cancer screenings.
There are no dietary or medication restrictions on the day of your scan, but there are a few guidelines as follows:
- Do not have physical therapy, a massage, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, or partake in strenuous exercise on the same day of the scan, prior to the exam.
- Do not smoke for at least 2 hours before the test.
- Do not use lotions, deodorants, or powder on the areas to be scanned.
- Stay out of strong sunlight on the day of test.
The cost for your baseline breast Thermogram is $225 and includes the scan and a full report of findings.
There are some insurance companies that reimburse for the scan. We provide our patients with the necessary paperwork to submit to their insurance company, and we encourage them to do so. We also offer a sliding scale and payment plans to any women who request it. We do everything we can to make sure that anyone who desires this scan can receive one.
Our trained and certified Thermographers will be conducting your scan. A board certified medical doctor, trained in interpreting thermal images, will be reading your scans and providing the report.
You report will be completed and sent to you within 48 hours. Same day results are also available for an additional $20.
Please visit any of the following websites for further information about the benefits of Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging.
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Full Body Thermography
Our full body Thermography scan is useful for detecting areas of inflammation to help locate the origin of unexplained pain. As is done with all Thermography screenings, the initial scan establishes your individual baseline, where the Thermologist looks for asymmetric heat patterns that may indicate a need for further diagnostic testing (such as an ultrasound, an MRI or a Mammogram).
Thermography follow-up scans, if recommended, will be able to identify health changes over time and can detect such conditions as:
- Breast Disease
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Gallbladder Disease
- Herniated Disc
- Lupus (SLE)
- Muscle Tears
- Nerve Trauma
- Pinched Nerves
- Respiratory Conditions
- Sinus Conditions
- Spinal Cord Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Stomach Conditions
- Thyroid Conditions
- Vascular Disease
With some patients, Thermography findings are the first warning of a disease years before symptoms even occur! With others, Thermography has been found to reveal the true cause of their symptoms, so that more effective treatment can be administered and their pain or discomfort can be relieved.
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Regions of Interest
You and/or your health care professional may specify a region of interest for the Thermography scan in order to identify or monitor health conditions in a certain part of the body. At Upright MRI of Deerfield, we have found that the most common parts of the body to be scanned include the thyroid, the abdomen, the legs, the arms and the feet.
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