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What is breast thermography & why consider it?

breast thermography in pittsburgh

Just like a fingerprint is unique to each person, each one of us has a particular infrared heat map of our body. By using this unique “map”, and especially being aware of changes on the map over time, thermography can detect early signs of cancerous tumors, abnormalities, and other dangerous heat-producing growths.

Thermography (digital infrared thermal imaging) is a non-invasive clinical procedure that shows an infrared heat map of your body. At Aesthetic Skin & Laser Center we use thermography to detect cancerous breast growths even before they are apparent on a mammogram.

How does Thermography work?

Thermography is based on detecting the heat produced by increased blood circulation and other changes associated with cancerous tumors. By detecting tiny changes in normal blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find thermal signs that suggest a pre-cancerous tumor in the breast. It may even detect the presence an early malignant tumor that is not yet large enough to be detected by physical examination, mammography, or other types of structural imaging. This information can then be used to recommend further examinations and tests.

Early breast cancer detection saves lives

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and the risk increases with age. Risk is also higher in women whose close relatives have had the disease. However, every person (yes, even men can get breast cancer) is at risk of developing breast cancer. Current research indicates that 1 in every 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

Early detection has been shown to increase the chances of surviving breast cancer by about 30%. As such, thermography has come to the front line of early breast cancer detection.

Current methods used to detect suspicious signs of breast cancer depend mostly on the combination of both physical examination and mammography. While this approach has become the main form of early breast cancer detection, even earlier detection is needed. Since the absolute prevention of breast cancer has not become a reality yet, efforts must be directed at detecting breast cancer at its earliest stage. That’s where thermography comes in.

Thermography complements mammography

Breast thermography offers information that no other procedure can provide. Approximately 20% of certain types of cancers will not be detected by mammography. Some of these will be discovered by thermography. Mammograms can be difficult to read in women who are on hormone replacement therapy, nursing, or have fibrocystic, large, dense, or enhanced breasts. These types of breast differences do not cause difficulties in reading thermography scans.

Breast thermography is not a replacement for or alternative to mammography or any other form of breast imaging. That said, breast thermography is a great risk assessment tool that should be used in addition to mammography and other tests.

In keeping with our core value of holistic health, Aesthetic Skin & Laser Center offers thermography as part of our services to improve and protect the health of our clients.

Barbara Calcagni is a level II Certified Clinical Thermographer who has had extensive training in the U.K. and believes strongly in painless non-invasive ways to prevent and detect early changes in the body. Consistent with the values of Aesthetic Skin & Laser Center, she believes that taking a more holistic and harmless approach to your health is best. To that end, whole body thermography is also offered.

Call us today to schedule your appointment for a thermography scan! 412-683-3358

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