Snohomish Naturopathic Clinic offers breast thermography (infrared mammography) as a radiation-free adjunct to mammography.
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 for some people, infrared thermography may be a good option if you identify with any of the following:
- Dense breasts, large or small breasts
- Breast implants
- Pregnant or nursing
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Fibrocystic disease
- History of biopsies
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.
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.
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)
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**
- 2-4 weeks later with any of our providers
- 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?
You will be given a color copy of your results at the time of your follow-up appointment to take home with you. Based on your results, your provider may recommend a treatment protocol to improve your breast health.
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