Breast Thermography

Snohomish Naturopathic Clinic offers breast thermography (infrared mammography) as a radiation-free alternative to mammography.

 

Why Thermography?

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women between the ages of 40 to 44 (American Cancer Society). Conventional medicine recommends yearly x-ray mammograms for women beginning at age 35. While mammograms are appropriate sometimes for some people, infrared thermography is an FDA-approved screening tool. If you identify with any of the following, the sensitivity of regular mammograms is significantly diminished for you, and thermography may be a good option:

 

  • Pre-menopause 
  • Dense breasts, large or small breasts
  • Breast implants
  • Pregnant or nursing        
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Fibrocystic disease           
  • History of biopsies
                                         Fibrocystic breasts

 

Infrared Mammography can detect tumors with a 2mm diameter, the size of a grain of rice and ten times smaller than the size detected by a Manual Breast Exam.

thermography compared to other screening tools

 

How does infrared thermography work?

New blood vessel development must occur for tumors to grow. Angiogenesis begins when a malignant tumor is about 150 micrometers (0.15mm) in diameter and must be well developed by the time a tumor is 1 - 2mm or one eighth of an inch in diameter. The blood vessels of a malignant tumor are significantly different in structure and behavior from any other blood vessels in the body. Nitric oxide is produced by pre-cancerous as well as cancerous cells and acts as a potent dilator of blood vessels.

 

Because of what Infrared Mammography screens for, it can provide physiologic indications of malignant breast disease 5 to 8 years before specific anatomical features are detectable by X-Ray Mammography.

  

Supporting Research

Combining clinical examination and X-Ray Mammography provided 85% sensitivity in diagnosing Breast Cancer.  Adding Infrared Mammography increased the sensitivity to 98%. (The Breast Journal, Vol. 4, 1998, 245-51)

 

Infrared Mammography has a 99% sensitivity in identifying Breast Cancer with single examinations and limited views. A negative Infrared Mammogram study (TH-1 or TH-2) proved powerful evidence that cancer was not present. (The American Journal of Radiology, January 2003, 263-69)

 

The US Dept of Health, Education and Welfare listed Infrared Mammography as a diagnostic technique for the detection of Breast Cancer and vascular diseases in 1972. The US Food & Drug Administration reaffirmed Infrared Mammography as a diagnostic technique for Breast Cancer in 1982 and again in 2005.  (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Vol. 8, 21CFR884.2980)

 

What do the appointments involve?

Imaging appointment: 45 minutes
  • Meet with Certified Thermographic Technician
  • Review breast health history
  • Take 6 thermographic images, including 3 after a cold challenge
  • Send information to IMS labs for interpretation

Lab results appointment: 30 minutes - 1 hour**

  • 2 weeks later with Dr. Olivia Franks, ND, CTT or Dr. Michelle Torrance, ND. 
  • If you prefer to have your results sent outside the clinic for review, please fill out a Release of Records form at the time of your imaging appointment so we may release your results as soon as they are available.

 

How do I prepare for the appointments?

Please review this form carefully at least one week prior to your appointment, so that you can begin preparing for your exam days in advance.  If you already have an appointment, please print and fill out required paperwork prior to your appointment.
 

What type of results report will I get?

Click here for a sample results report.  Based on your results, your provider may recommend a treatment protocol to improve your breast health.  You will be given a color copy of your results to take home with you.


Costs:

Imaging appointment: $265 (includes lab interpretation fee)
Lab results appointment: Billable to insurance; discounted rate for payment on day of service is $88-$126 for established patients and $116-$190 for new patients