Ok, ok, so it’s only 16 shades, but I got your attention! And yes, I realize most people don’t consider black & white a color, but in our world it means something, so we do.
This “new technology” called thermography seems to be a mystery; what it can do; what it can’t do; how it works, etc. There is really little mystery, and it really isn’t new. Simply put: Thermography is the study of heat in your body. Special cameras identify those heat patterns and turn them into visible signals (color scales) for ease of detecting abnormal or diseased tissue, especially breast tissue. It’s the same technology that our armed services have been using for many, many years to detect explosives, find our soldiers in battle fields, etc. However, with the advancement of science and technology it has been adapted and fine-tuned to work within healthcare.
Thermography does its job best when used as an early detection device. It provides you with the benefit of “visualizing” any inflammation, pain source, infection, tumors, diseases, etc. in their infancy. Unlike traditional scans Thermography uncovers health issues much, much sooner throughout the body. It’s like a report card for your whole body!
Since October is Breast Awareness month, I would like to address Thermography’s use for breast health. Mammography measures your body’s anatomy; Thermography measures your body’s physiology. Therefore something must be large enough and dense enough for mammography to detect it. With the younger crowd, or women with fibrocystic (lumpy) tissue you are often called back for “another look”, meaning more radiation and compression. Thermography looks at varying physiological heat patterns within the breast that can be associated with a multitude of problematic issues. Thermography’s ability to tell the difference between fibrocystic and/or dense tissue from actual compromised or diseased tissue makes accurate detections at an early stage a reality. Another benefit is for women with implants. There is no risk of rupturing the implant with compression and we can check the integrity of the implant. And the best news; Thermography accomplishes this without radiation or tissue compression. No smooshing!!
Now, there is much published about Thermography, positive and negative. As with anything, you have the choice to decide which route you want to take. My suggestion is to do your research. Call and get your questions answered. Make your decision based on being informed rather than “lead by opinion”. There’s a reason technology and science work together; it’s to improve what we’re doing. So it begs the question: Why is the way we’ve always done things, touted as the most reliable way to still do things? Anyone who used a cell phone in the 80’s would certainly question that wisdom. Why should our health care options be any different?
Although I am obviously an advocate of Thermography, I do not believe this technology, nor mammography are stand-alone tools. There is no such thing as any test that is accurate 100% of the time. However, having another weapon in our arsenal is certainly putting us one step closer to winning the battle. Just remember, no matter what you choose to do, do something, because doing nothing is not acceptable.
Victoria Bailey, CCT, Breast Thermography of Middle TN, 615-934-3121 http://www.brasthermography.com