Breast Thermography Explained

Breast Thermography is the practice of using Digital Infrared Imaging to detect the early stages of breast cancer. These areas tend to have higher blood circulation and metabolic activity. The increased surface temperature of affected areas is picked up by thermal scans and analyzed by computer. Breast thermography is one of the most successful methods of detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.

Currently, physical breast examinations and mammography are the most widespread methods for detecting breast cancer. Since Digital Infrared Imaging detects subtle thermal changes associated with cancer formation, it can detect cancer faster than mammography, MRIs, and ultrasounds, which can usually only detect physical tumors. Since breast thermography cannot detect the location of a tumor, it should still be used along with other detection methods and not as a replacement.

Women with large, dense, or enhanced breasts can get unreliable readings from mammograms, along with nursing women and women on hormone replacement therapies. For these women, Breast Thermography is an effective alternative to other methods. Abnormal infrared images suggest that a woman is at high risk of developing breast cancer. In these cases, regular monitoring can help determine future risk and be used to help prevent invasive tumor growth.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and their risk of developing it grows with age. This risk is increased for women without children, women who have children over 30, and women who have close family members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dr. Nielsen is a Board Certified Clinical Thermographer for the Calgary Thermography and Women’s Holistic Clinic.