Women's Health

Breast Thermography

breast thermography

Breast cancer is a complex disease that will affect 1 in 9 Canadian women during their lifetime. Breast cancer incidence increases with age; however, 20-25% of all breast cancers occur in women less then 49 years of age. Breast cancers in younger women are usually more aggressive and have poorer survival rates. Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) is also know as thermography. DITI specific to breast health is commonly referred to as breast thermography. Breast thermography is a painless, non invasive, imaging procedure aimed at detecting thermal heat patterns. It is used as part of an early detection program to give women of all ages the opportunity to increase their chances of detecting breast disease at an early stage.
Thermography’s role in breast cancer and other breast disorders is to help in early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology. This 15 minute non invasive test is a valuable procedure for alerting your medical practitioner to the possibility of underlying breast irregularities that are indicators of potential disease. When used with other integrated procedures, it helps to provide a comprehensive evaluation of an individuals breast health.
Thermography is aimed at improving the chances for detecting fast-growing, active irregularities in the intervals between mammogram screenings or when mammography is not indicated by screening guidelines for women of identified age groups. We recommend our patients 49 to 74 years of age also follow the Canadian Task Force recommendations on mammography screening. DITI is not a replacement for mammograms, rather a valuable physiologic and functional tool providing a more robust, multi-modal approach to breast health monitoring.
Breast thermography – initial plus baseline (2 sets of images)- $299
Breast thermography- annual (1 set if images) – $250

Understanding Risk Factors

Conclusive research has established certain risk factors as contributing to the potential occurance of breast cancer. Several modifiable risk factors for breast cancer are related to the way we live – making changes in these areas of your life will help you to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Non-modifiable Risk Factors (factors your can’t control)

  • Gender & age
  • Personal cancer history
  • Family cancer history & genetics
  • Early menstruation & late menopause
  • Breast density & conditions

Modifiable Risk Factors (factors you can control)

  • Body weight
  • Diet & dietary habits
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Radiation exposure
  • Environmental influences
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy

Screening Recommendations

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health provided the following recommendations, specific to women of average risk of breast cancer, regarding the use of mammography: (similar recommendations from the US Task Force)

For women aged 40 – 48: NOT recommend for routine screening with mammography.

For women aged 49-74 years: recommend for routine screening with mammography every 2 to 3 years.

DITI can be used by any women as a preventive health tool to better understand your breast health. It can provide women under 49 years with a complementary option and a safe breast health monitoring tool between recommended mammography scans.

DITI can provide you with early indication information by flagging physiological areas of concern that could lead to the development of breast cancer. Thereby empowering you and your Doctor to make an educated decision regarding the subsequent strategic use of diagnostic tools like ultrasound, mammography & biopsy.

Doctors do not yet know how to prevent breast cancer. However, you can increase your chances of detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages by understanding the need for, and participating in an early detection program. If cancer is found early, there are choices for treatment. With prompt treatment, the outlook is good. In fact, most women treated for early breast cancer will be free from breast cancer for the rest of their lives.

Also, don’t overlook that MEN account for 1% of all Breast Cancers

Call to book your Breast Thermography: 604-888-8325

Imaging Equipment

At Integrated Health Clinic we use the Meditherm med2000 Iris 7.5 Advanced Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera. The Meditherm med2000 product received FDA approval in 1982 as an adjunct to mammography and has a 20 year history of successful performance and reliability. The Iris 7.5 is the Meditherm industry standard flagship and Integrated Health ClinicTM is proud to offer this medical grade imaging technology to our patients.

DITI (thermography) is a noninvasive evaluation technique that allows the examiner to visualize and quantify changes in skin surface temperature. An infrared scanning device is used to convert infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in colour on a monitor. This visual image graphically maps the body temperature and is referred to as a thermogram. The spectrum of colours indicate an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared radiation being emitted from the body surface. Since there is a high degree of thermal symmetry in the normal body, subtle abnormal temperature asymmetry’s can be easily identified.

DITI is a highly sensitive, non-invasive and painless imaging tool that measures heat patterns in the body. It can be used as part of a comprehensive breast health program to evaluate and monitor for changes in breast tissue.

DITI is a physiological test. Abnormal and inflammatory tissues are more metabolically active which requires additional blood flow, increasing heat patterns in the affected area(s).

Clinical uses for DITI include:

  • to define the extent of a lesion of which a diagnosis has previously been made;
  • to localize an abnormal area not previously identified, so further diagnostic tests can be performed;
  • to detect early lesions before they are clinically evident

In order to establish a baseline DITI exam, the first DITI is followed by another scan 3-months later. DITI is then recommended annually thereafter to best monitor for asymmetries or other changes from the initial baseline reading.

The exam appointment is scheduled for 15 min. If this is your first set of thermography images, please arrive 15 minutes early to complete the Thermography Intake Form. Note: Cold Stressing will NOT be used for your routine exam, meaning that there is no requirement for you to immerse your hands in cold water before imaging.

Integrated Health Clinic uses Electronic Medical Interpretation, Inc. for reporting Thermography results.

EMI provides:

  • Real-time online reporting via our secure extranet (not email)
  • Access 24 hours a day
  • Quick turnaround for regular reports
  • Urgent option guarantees under 24 hours
  • Ready-to-print reports compiled complete with all images
  • Board-Certified MD Thermologists
  • Exceeds all HIPPA Compliance

Call to book your Breast Thermography: 604-888-8325

When Should Women Begin Examinations using Thermography?

Women at any age can begin utilizing thermography as a safe tool for assessing breast health. Thermography is especially appropriate for younger women between 30 – 50 years whose denser breast tissue makes it more difficult to pick up irregularities on mammograms. This test can provide a ‘flag’ to the doctor or mammographer that a specific area of the breast needs particular close examination.

Our recommended thermography guidelines:

  • Age 20: Initial Baseline Thermogram
  • Age 20-29: Thermogram every 3 years
  • Age 30 and over: Thermogram annually
  • High Risk Clients: As frequently as needed

Can I use thermography if I have breast implants?

Yes. Thermography is not dependent on the density of a women’s breast nor do implants or surgical procedures effect the process of detecting your thermal pattern.

I hear from some people that you need to “cold stress” the patient. What is “cold stressing”? Do I really need to do it?

Cold stressing is a test to measure sympathetic function. It is a useful test for a some conditions including RSD (CRPS). Protocols used with the Meditherm system for breast screening do not require routine cold stressing.

What are the instructions before my appointment?

  • No vigorous exercise 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
  • No excessively hot baths/showers 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
  • No thick lotions, oils, creams, or deodorants
  • No sunbathing/sunburn on the day of your appointment.
  • No massage on day of your appointment prior to imaging.
  • No shaving on day of appointment prior to imaging.
  • If you smoke, do not smoke for 2 hours prior to your appointment time.

What makes Thermography so unique?

Mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and other structural imaging tools rely primarily on finding the physical tumor. Thermography is based on detecting the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes.  By detecting minute variations in normal blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find thermal signs suggesting an early pathology starting in the breast.

Why do I need to return in 3 months, what is a baseline?

Before we can start to evaluate any changes, we need to establish an accurate and stable baseline for you. This baseline represents your unique thermal fingerprint, which will only be altered by developing pathology.  A baseline cannot be established with only one study, as we would not know if this is your normal pattern or if it is actually changing at the time of the first exam. A 3 month interval is the most accurate for determining a stable baseline reading.

Call to book your Breast Thermography: 604-888-8325

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breast thermography

Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) - Thermography for

Breast Health

Call to book your Breast Thermography: 604-888-8325