I just had my first thermography earlier this week. I have been considering it for a year or two.
Thermography is a non-invasive, thermal imagining scan that does not use radiation. It can be used for early detection, either in place of a mammogram or in addition to.
It has been FDA approved for over 25 years and is finally getting some well-deserved recognition. It can detect cancer up to 10 years sooner than mammography!!! And the procedure is not painful at all. It is used in hospitals around the world and has become a popular choice for many hospitals in the Western United States. Where I live, it seems we still need to educate our doctors!
I recently heard a speaker. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Both times that she had cancer, she had both mammograms and ultrasounds and neither showed a thing.....she was pronounced "fine" because they couldn't see any cancer. (She knew with her symptoms that she quite obviously was NOT fine!!!) Thermographies showed the cancer immediately, both times. The second time she had cancer, it was contained in a sack......until the doctor required a mammogram, which broke the sack , and then the cancer spread to 8 of her lymphs.
Thermography takes a picture of the "heat" (or lack of) of your body.
Thermography is not just used for the breasts, but the entire body. Thermography is not overly good at showing uterine/ovarian or prostate cancer due to their location (deep and midst an area that is already usually very warm). It's also not all that great at scanning the brain. Hopefully, as they improve equipment, these areas will also show up better.
Themography reveals vascular and nerve problems (or potential problems if left alone). So, thermography is not only used for cancer, but also to detect fibromyalgia, immune dysfunction, diverticulitis, Crohn's, arthritis, sinus problems, carpal tunnel, and more.
As with all equipment, not all thermography machines are the same. Meditherm units are supposed to be very accurate. The images are interpreted by doctors at Duke University and you are sent the results within a week or so. If something suspicious is revealed, you can then take these pictures to the physician of your choice and you can proceed as desired with the information.
Most insurances around my area do not cover the scan for breast screenings. However, the United Breast Cancer Foundation has been re-imbursing for the breast screenings! You have to fill out "paperwork" on the website at United Breast Cancer Foundation and once you get approval, you schedule a screening. After the screening, you complete the process for re-imbursement.
Around here, a thermogram for just the breast area is $150. For half of the body, it is $250 and for the whole body, $325. Each exam takes half an hour to a full hour to complete, depending on which one you have done. If you can stand and sit on a stool, you can do this.....there is no painful squishing and pulling or anything!!!
Some pictures of scans and more information:
White is very hot/abnormal, reds and oranges are the next, down to the greens and the blues. Lack of heat in some areas is just as telling as white in others.
I opted to have the full body scan done. I'm anxiously awaiting my results. I expect them next week.
Disclaimer: This post is not meant to give medical advice....just wanted women to know about another possible option and how they might get reimbursed for the breast screenings if their insurance does not cover it.