What is a Thermogram?
A Thermogram is a test that uses the heat radiating from your body to detect any abnormalities in the body. It is a no contact test that is painless and does not involve any X-ray radiation. Since radiation is not used a Thermogram can be done as often as necessary. The Thermogram creates infrared images (heat pictures) that the doctor analyzes to find any asymmetries. Any abnormality that causes a change in heat production is seen on a thermogram. Inflammation such as infections, trauma to the breast and even sun burn will cause abnormality in thermal pictures.
One of the abnormalities that can be detected by a Thermogram is the development of breast cancer. When breast cancer is developing there is a growth of new blood vessels in the breast and an increase in heat. These symptoms occur before the cancer starts to invade new tissue. The pictures produced by the Thermogram can show these symptoms and warn you of early cancer growth. A breast Thermogram has the potential to find problems five to eight years before the problems can be seen by a mammogram. If the Thermogram is used in conjunction with a mammogram it is possible to detect 95% of early breast cancer.
Thermogram vs. Mammogram
People often wonder if a Thermogram is better than a Mammogram or vise versa. Though both tests are used to detect breast cancer, each test has a different purpose. The Thermogram is used to detect subtle changes in the heat of the breast and information on any abnormal function in the breast while a mammogram is used to detect actual mass in the breast. By the time a mammogram detects a solid mass the cancer has been in the body for at least 5 years. The most effective way to find breast cancer is to use both exams.
A Breast exam alone diagnoses 61% of cancers
A Mammogram alone detects 84% of cancers
A Thermo Mammogram and conventional Mammogram detects 95% of cancers
Note: To read an interesting story about Thermograms please go to this website: breastthermography
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