What is Breast Thermography?
Breast thermography is a state-of-the-art, non-invasive test that is used to detect possible breast disease. It is a heat-generated image that can show early changes in breast tissue that can lead to breast cancer.
Researchers from the Ville Marie Breast Center examined infrared imaging in 100 women with noninvasive stage I and II breast cancer. In this study, the 84% sensitivity rate of mammography alone was increased to 95% when infrared imaging (thermography) was added (source).
Thermography testing is completely radiation free, painless, and the best part is that nothing touches you.
To establish a stable baseline, a woman would come for two thermograms three months apart. This is to make sure there are no changes in thermal patterns during that time. If no change, your stable baseline is established, and you would have another thermogram annually. If there is a change, recommendations would be given based on the information. Sometimes that includes another thermogram in 3-6 months, a mammogram, or a breast ultrasound.
Who is a Candidate for Breast Thermography?
Breast Thermography is useful for women of all ages. It is especially appropriate for women aged 30-50 who may have dense breasts, which makes mammography less effective. It is also beneficial for women who have breast implants.
Who Performs the Breast Thermogram and Who Interprets the Results?
Our Certified Clinical Thermographer, Christina Garlewicz, will work with you from booking your first appointment to performing your thermogram right in our office. Medical doctors who are certified thermologists will then look at the images and review your history. They send back a report electronically with the result and any further recommendations. We usually get a report back within 36-48 hours of your visit to our office. One of our midwives will review the report and then call you with the results. You are always welcome to a copy of the report, and we are happy to forward it to your doctor as well.
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
As always, you will have some paperwork to fill out, which is also available on our website, should you wish to fill it out prior to your visit. After completing the paperwork, you will enter the thermography room and put on a gown. For a breast thermogram, you will take everything off except for your underwear. You will be seated on a stool that swivels side to side and then we take a brief history. History taking usually lasts about 10 minutes.
Once finished, you will bring your gown down around your waist and sit for a moment to allow your body temperature to acclimate to the room temperature. Then we move on to do the actual images and take several images a few seconds apart to make sure your body temperature is not changing. Then you place your hands on the back of your head and take 5 images in different positions, the front, left and right sides, and left and right oblique sides. Once done, you bring your gown up and can get dressed!
Start to finish you can expect to be at our office for a half an hour.
Scheduling an Appointment
We have a very flexible schedule for Breast Thermography. You may come in on weekdays, weeknights, and in some cases on weekends. At this time, we do not offer Thermography in the Madison location; it is only performed in the Hackettstown location.
Christina Garlewicz is a Certified Clinical Thermographer (CCT) through Meditherm, and she has been performing Thermograms for the past 3 years. She is pleased to be able to help bring women another choice in breast screening that has absolutely no harmful effects. She is hopeful that with this important screening tool, more women are able to prevent breast cancer and lead healthier lives.