DITI (Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or Thermography) is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that allows the examiner to visualize and quantify changes in skin surface temperature. An infrared scanning device is used to convert infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in color on a monitor. This visual image graphically maps the body temperature and is referred to as a thermogram.
DITI's role in breast disorders is to help in early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology and the establishment of risk factors for the development or existence of disease. When used with other procedures, the best possible evaluation of breast health is made. This 15 minute non-invasive test is a valuable procedure for alerting your GP or specialist to the possibility of underlying breast disease. This test is designed to improve chances for detecting fast-growing, active tumors in the intervals between mammographic screenings or when mammography is not indicated by screening guidelines for women less than 50 years of age. A patient's thermograms (breast images) are kept on record and form a baseline for all future routine evaluations.
DITI is especially appropriate for younger women between 30 and 50 whose denser breast tissue makes it more difficult for mammography to pick up suspicious lesions. This test can provide a 'clinical marker' to the doctor or mammographer that a specific area of the breast needs particularly close examination. The faster a malignant tumor grows, the more infrared radiation it generates. For younger women in particular, results from DITI screening can lead to earlier detection and ultimately, longer life.
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Can Help with:
Aiding in the early detection of disease and pathology, including suspicious Breast pathology
Evaluating significant soft-tissue injury or sensory-nerve irritation
Identifying an abnormal area for further diagnostic testing
Determining the root cause of pain
Defining a previously diagnosed injury or condition
Follow-up progress of healing and rehabilitation
What Experts have to say
"These thermal images (called thermograms) are analyzed for abnormalities that may be signs of disease in your body. Additionally, since your body is thermally symmetrical if normal, thermal asymmetries can indicate problems.
I recommend this tool because measuring inflammation through thermal imaging is a proactive, preventative method you can use for detecting disease, which significantly improves your chances for longevity and good health." Dr Joseph Mercola
"With thermography, a thermal imaging camera captures the amount of heat on the body’s surface. It’s then translated to a digital image seen immediately on a computer. Because it uses different colors to represent different amounts of heat—each color is different by half a degree—the resulting image looks a lot like a topographical map. Thermography is a non-invasive test—there’s no flattening of the breasts and the thermographer does not need to touch your breast to take the images," Dr. Northrup says.
"Before a tumor starts to grow, new blood vessels grow into the area. But, these blood vessels are not normal. They grow in abnormal patterns and produce excessive heat. Thermography is a completely safe infra-red picture that can “see” these physiological changes years before they become cancerous. Infra-red technology is completely safe. It is simply a picture that does not use radiation. Thermography does not have any of the limitations that mammography does. It is effectives for all ages, breast sizes and densities, and isn’t hindered with the presence of implants, or reconstruction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between thermography and mammography?
Mammography assesses anatomically (mass) and thermography assesses function (inflammatory).
Does thermography squeeze the breast? Is there radiation emitted?
NO and NO! A picture is taken about four feet away to determine breast health. Pain and radiation free!
How often will I need a breast scan?
After your initial breast scan, we suggest a second scan at three months to set a baseline. If there is no change from the first scan to the second, yearly scans are appropriate.
How fast can I get the results?
As quickly as 24 hours, but in most cases 2-3 business days.
Why haven’t I heard of thermography before? How long has it been around? Who reads my scans?
Thermography has been around almost 20 years. In the beginning, it was not accepted by many doctors due to a handful of untrained thermographers interpreting their own scans. A lot has changed since the early nineties, and thermal imaging is better than ever, worldwide - including Australia, Europe, and Asia. Scans are interpreted by board certified MDs around the globe via internet and are for medical use only.
Do I need to have a doctor's referral in order to have this scan?
No, you do not need a referral if you are paying out of pocket or have a flex spend account. If you are submitting this procedure through an insurance company, they are more likely to reimburse if referred by a Doctor.
Can thermography see uterine cancer, lung disease, heart concerns or stomach problems?
No. Thermography reads skin blood flow. In rare cases, inflamed liver, kidney and colons appear on the stomach scan. However, thermal imaging can detect inflammation and pain (local or referred), chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, thyroid concerns, lymph congestion, phlebitis, vasculitis, TMJ, dental pathology, sinus problems, and carotid arteries.
I have heard a lot about radiation. Should I be concerned?
YES. Please visit http://www.preventbc.com/ for downloadable studies on the dangers of low-level radiation (2002 Brenner, 2003 Parisky, 2004 Heyes). Each time a woman gets a mammogram, she is increasing her chance of getting cancer by about five percent.
My doctor states he doesn’t know enough about thermal imaging and demands I still get a mammogram. What do I do?
Tell your doctor to do some research at Thermology On Line (information, case studies). Also, there are downloadable studies at http://www.preventbc.com (see radiation question above) or call me at the Longevity Center and I will send a booklet and lots of information to your doctor. Tell your doctor you have concerns with low-level radiation and how it affects DNA. There are over 800 studies on themography. Hand her (or him) the 2004 Heyes study on radiation. If not thermography, ask for a different method (ultrasound, breast MRI, ductal lavage) as a substitute (see http://www.alternativemedicine.com on May mammogram article). In any case, thermography can be used in conjunction with a mammogram by assessing false-positives or concurring with a sketchy mammogram.
It is up to us to get the word out about the benefits of Thermography and dangers of Mammography to ALL doctors & radiologists. Here is a Fact Sheet for further information.
Does insurance cover thermography?
We try and make this service affordable for everyone. Prevention should be!
Insurance rarely (if ever) covers thermal imaging. However, you may use your Flex Spend dollars or Health Savings Account (HSA) money. If you still wish to check with your insurance company, call and inquire about thermography or thermal imaging insurance coverage for your specific condition. If you desire a Health Insurance Claim Form (HICFA) you will be given one with the codes already on the form. Fill out your personal information on the form and send it to your insurance company. There are no guarantees you will in fact be covered. You will still have to pay for the scan upfront. If your insurance does cover the scan, a reimbursement check for the scan will be sent to you or the balance will come off of your deductible.
Please note: When referred by a Doctor, one copy of the scan results will go to the doctor that referred you and one copy will come directly to you. If you have no physician referral, you will be sent 2 copies of your report.
Some clients may wish to remain anonymous to the insurance company for personal reasons - or if they are changing insurance companies. We respect the confidentiality of each client.
Where can I find out more about thermography?
There are numerous web sites that will give you further information. Among them is Thermology On Line.