What is thermography?
Thermography is a picture of the heat that comes from the body. Interpretation of the heat wave patterns helps to screen for and detect breast problems, including cancer. It does not use X-ray radiation, nor does it use compression of the breast tissue as mammograms do.
What is the difference between thermography and mammography?
Thermograms are capable of earlier detection of cancer because they can detect blood vessel heat changes in breast tissue before the cancer tissue is large enough to be seen by mammography. Thermograms can also differentiate between benign calcium deposits and potential ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), thus reducing the number of breast biopsies that need to be performed. Dr. Gardner does not recommend mammograms.
Why isn’t thermography recommended instead of mammography?
Most developed countries have adopted thermography as their method of choice, but the United States and Canada have chosen to maintain mammography. Some of that is related to the comfort level radiologists have with X-ray technology.
What is the cost? Does insurance cover it?
Thermography costs $250. Although most insurances do not cover it, some do, so you would need to check with your insurance. It is reimbursable through personal health spending plans.