There comes a time in every woman’s life where our health comes into question. Whether it is something that feels different in our bodies, a friend or family members recent diagnosis of a life changing condition or we’ve simply read or seen something in the media, we all have our moments of self inventory. How are we feeling? I wonder what my cholesterol is like? Am I at risk for Diabetes? The one that I have thought about most is breast cancer. I don’t feel like I am at risk necessarily, but then aren’t we all?
A few years ago, at my annual physical, my physician suggested that I get a mammogram to determine a base line for breast health. I said okay but then didn’t do anything about it. I have heard too many stories about the dreaded squish. I avoided making the appointment. The next physical, he mentioned it again. This time I was prepared with an alternative. What about thermography? To my delight he was familiar with it and supported the decision. Even though I knew this was the route I wanted to take, I still stalled. I didn’t relish the idea of getting naked in front of a stranger. I know it is only naked from the waist up, but to me it still feels pretty much the same! I came into contact with Janice from HealthSCAN. She was warm and welcoming and the office felt more like a spa than a clinic. She instantly put me at ease. When it was time to disrobe and have the images taken, she spoke to me as if it was completely normal to have an exposed women in front of her. I recently went back for my second scan and am happy to say that I got a great report! While I know it is up to me to do regular self examinations, I feel so much more confident knowing that I’ve had the scan done. I asked Janice if she would write a little something to tell you more of the technical details. I think that it is important for us to share our stories and learn from one another.
It’s time to spread the word! Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging (DITI), or as it is more commonly referred to as, Thermography, is a non-invasive screening method that uses an infrared camera to detect variations in skin temperature as a result of abnormal stimulation of the nervous system in response to disease or dysfunction.
Thermography was approved by the FDA (US) in 1982 as an adjunctive diagnostic screening procedure for the detection of abnormal breast tissue. However, the greatest developments in this field have emerged in just the past decade with the advent of digital photography and high-resolution digital imaging maximizing the screening potential for continued advancement of, not only breast but, full body imaging. Protocols have also been standardized concerning patient preparation, image collections and reporting. At HealthSCAN, technicians are trained in all aspects of obtaining consistent thermographic images in a clinical setting while Board Certified Thermologists (by the American College of Clinical Thermography) provide standardized reports that are accurate and easy to understand. Standard evaluation of images includes analyzing the symmetry of the thermal patterns, the consistency of thermal patterns with normal anatomy and the temperature differences. This standardization and improved technology has significantly increased the reliability of the thermal imaging over the past twenty-five years.
Thermal imaging is not a stand alone screening examination, a diagnostic examination, or a replacement examination. It is simply a method of detecting physiological changes associated with the presence or increased risk for the development of metabolic changes identified by increased inflammation and thermal patterning within the body. Breast Thermography has been researched for over 50 years and in this database well over 250,000 women have been included as study participants. Full body Thermography scans also assist in the diagnosis of other body conditions such as chronic pain, arthritis, digestive disorders, nerve damage, circulatory dysfunction, referred pain syndromes, and many more.
Early detection is aimed at prevention and if early changes are detected then we have an opportunity to intervene and change the outcome. This screening test is phenomenal as it tells us what the body is doing regardless of the system or joint involved. This is a test of physiology which gives us an immediate picture of inflammations or systemic disruptions as it is a dynamic test, unlike most other medical tests such as x-ray and MRI that are static.
There are no contraindications for Thermography, it is totally non-invasive, no radiation of any type, and does not make contact with the body so it can ‘do no harm’. DITI is positioned as the ideal screening test for men, women and children of all ages providing a safe, accurate, alternative option aimed as much at diagnostics of existing conditions as preventative healthcare.
The best possible health plan is to use every appropriate test adjunctively to get the highest detection rates without generating additional or unnecessary invasive testing. Taking hold of our own health is not only responsible but necessary in today’s society.
Thanks for taking a few moments to read to the end of the blog. Janice has graciously offered a special offer to my blog readers. If thermography is something you are interested in, please do contact her to find out more information.
2400 Brant St., Burlington, ON L7P 4N3