Thermogram imaging, a mammogram alternative, has been around in the medical world for many years. It relies on computerized interpretations of photographic images from a video type camera that measures the temperature of skin surfaces and shows it as a distinct color on the screen or printout. Colder areas show up as shades of blue and warmer areas show up as shades of red with all of the associates 256 shades of the color spectrum in between as temperatures vary by minute amounts of degrees of heat.
The general theory is that our autonomic nervous system controls blood circulation and therefore associated body heat into areas on the skin surface dependent upon which physiological processes are occurring beneath the surface in the tissues and organs of the body.
Breast Cancer Detection
Perhaps the most well know use for thermography is in the early detection of breast cancer. Areas of the body where tumors are growing are undergoing angioneogenesis, (the growth of new blood vessels), to feed a growing tumor. The extra blood flow will show up as a warm spot on the image with certain typical features. Typically these warm spots will show up as a questionable area of heat requiring future evaluation such as an MRI or a mammogram to make a proper diagnosis. Recent studies have shown that mammography is 84% accurate in early detection of breast pathology and when thermography is added to the workup that accuracy increases to 95%.
A thermogram is a great mammogram alternative. In the instance where a breast abnormality is detected, it is still considered medically appropriate to obtain a mammogram or MRI as well. If something is found, it is still necessary to take all appropriate traditional care up to and including surgery. However, in this instance where thermography detects something and a physical exam and mammography is negative, the affected patient has been given a valuable head start to go forward with a vigorous detoxification and integrative treatment program to stop processes that will result in a malignancy later on. A negative thermogram, in the absence of detectable physical findings while not a 100% certainty (nothing in medicine is 100% certain) can give a woman at risk a strong degree of reassurance that things are going very well.