Thermography Part 2 – The Procedure

As we pursue our search for ways to detect breast cancer early, we’ve discovered that breast thermography should be used with mammography for the earliest detection of breast cancer.

Some of you responded to the article on thermography, saying you have experienced it and found it to be a very easy procedure and are grateful for its availability.

Perhaps though you’re like me and have no clue about how the procedure is actually performed. Let’s find out about that right now.

Certain things have to be avoided prior to the exam. Avoid sun on the breasts for 5 days prior to the exam. On the day of the exam do not use any lotions or other topical applications on the breasts, do not shave that area, and do not use deodorant. No exercise for 4 hours prior to the exam. Bathing and nursing a child should occur at least one hour or more before the exam. Avoid pain medications for 4 hours before the exam (check with your prescribing doctor).

All of these pre-exam instructions are necessary to prevent stimulation of blood flow in the breasts that would cause inaccuracies in the interpretation of the thermograms.

After reviewing the breast medical history a technician visually inspects the breasts to correlate the surface findings with the infrared images of the thermogram. Then the person sits in the exam room for 15 minutes, undressed above the waist, to allow the breast to acclimatize to the temperature of the thermography room.

The technician then positions the person in front of the imaging equipment so that all the surfaces of the breast, upper chest and underarms can be imaged.

An ultra-sensitive medical infrared imaging camera takes the images and transfers them to a computer where they can be analyzed. The computer also stores them so they can be used for comparison at the next appointed thermography exam.

The doctor, generally a certified Clinical Thermologist analyzes the images and grades them according to strict guidelines into one of these 5 grades:

TH 1 – Normal uniform non-vascular

TH 2 – Normal uniform vascular

TH 3 – Equivocal (questionable)

TH 4 – Abnormal

TH 5 – Severely abnormal

The doctor then reviews the results with the person and may order more tests if necessary.

Seems like a pretty easy procedure to me. No squishing of the breasts to worry about. The only discomfort of the thermography procedure that I might imagine is having to sit half naked in a fairly cold room for 15 minutes (plus the length of the exam).

Finding a thermography clinic near you may be a challenge. Hopefully one of these sites will help you locate one:

American College of Clinical Thermology approved sites:

Alternative and Complementary Medicine Directory

Use the search box on the left side of the page when you’re on this site to look for a clinical thermologist in your area. (When I searched, there were only a few listings in the United States.)

If your doctor would be interested in acquiring thermography equipment, you might refer him to this site:

Please respond to this article with you have questions about breast thermography and experiences you have had with breast thermography.


Dr. Jo

About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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