What is Thermography?
Thermography is probably the earliest detectable screen for tumor formation, but how does it work? The best way to explain thermography is to break down the word. Thermo- is for heat. When tumors start to form, they need the formation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. This process gives off heat that is detectable with a special camera. Graphy- is a picture that is taken with the special heat detectible camera, thus, thermography.
Thermography is the use of digital infrared imaging that measures changes in tissue physiology. Through temperature variations it measures metabolic activity and vascular circulation that may be associated with an underlying problem. Cancerous tumors need to be fed nutrients to grow, and they do this by increasing circulation to the cells and creating new blood vessels. We call this growth of blood vessels neoangiogenesis. The vascular process of building new blood vessel and activating inactive blood vessels causes an increase in surface temperature which can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras to assess risk.
Getting to the cause of a health problem is the only way to insure that the treatment you receive will be effective. Many patients have ongoing conditions due to treatments that are not directed at the cause of the problem. With the use of thermography, many patients have realized this fact and have finally found relief.
There is no radiation, no contact with the body, no injections and it’s pain free.
Thermography vs. Thermometry
Are you certain that the procedure you are being given is a thermogram? Unfortunately, there are providers who tout this service but provide something different! They subject you to thermometry, telling you it’s basically the same. Don’t be fooled. Arm yourself with the best information by understanding the difference. Let us help…
The current thermography systems used by health care professional is known as Medical Infrared Imaging. Using high-end infrared camera equipment and sophisticted computerized processing, the system provides a high-resolution image showing a highly detailed thermovascular map of the surface of the body. Dysfunctions within the tissue may be revealed through vascular changes and thermal patterns.
Thermometry is the measurement of temperature. Thermometry can come in many different forms such as using a thermometer to take your core temperature or making sure your food is cooked correctly. Another type of thermometry we have seen uses hand-held probes to measure your skin’s temperature. The most common temperature sensors used are thermocouple or infrared.
Since there are service providers who will use these terms interchangeably, it is prudent to ask the following questions so you know exactly what you are receiving:
- Will you be taking high-resolution images?
- What information will be provided?
- Will the process entail taking my skin temperature only?
- Will anything touch my body; thus changing the real temperature of the skin?
- Will my images be stored for future reference and comparison?
- Is this procedure approved by the International Academy of Clinical Thermology or the American Academy of Thermology?
- Will your thermogram be read by a doctor who is board certified as a clinical thermologist?
- In the event that your breasts are imaged, will your reports come back with each breast graded on the internationally standardized TH 1-5 scale?
- Who will perform the procedure? Is the technician certified by a recongized association?
Thermography gives you valuable information that no other imaging method can provide.
Don’t be shy! Ask questions so you can be sure you are receiving the assessment you are looking for.
Information / Outcome of Thermography
Detects thermal signs of blood vessel pattern changes that can assist in evaluating risk.
High resolution images.
Risk assessment as an early warning.
Heat map showing thermal patterns.
Images analyzed and interpreted by doctors who are board certified clinical thermologists.
Breast images TH graded under the internationally accepted IACT and AAT standards and guidelines.
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