by Rebeca Gracia
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so women will probably be seeing a lot of pink, being told to get a mammogram and be asked to donate to causes intended to prevent or cure breast cancer. While these efforts are well intended, there’s one piece of prevention— thermography—that often gets overlooked by many physicians simply because they haven’t been trained in the science of identifying primary symptoms of disease at the very earliest stages—as they develop and before they surface as lumps, lesions, spots or other more tangible symptoms.
Like a smoldering spark that goes undetected in a home before the smoke alarms sound, thermography has been developed to identify areas deep within the body where the silent symptoms of inflammation are smoldering. Identifying these symptoms early gives patients the opportunity to make dietary, lifestyle and other changes to reverse the dysfunction before it progresses.
With so many terms circulating around about thermography—camera thermography, medical thermography, infrared thermography—we may wonder what the differences are and how thermography can help us. There are currently two widely available forms of thermography; infrared thermal imaging, commonly referred to as camera thermography; and computerized regulation thermography (also called whole body thermography), which also utilizes infrared technology, but with several important differences.
Camera thermography collects photon impulse data from the skin’s surface using a camera placed in
front of the patient. Pictures are taken of specific body areas such as the head/neck and breasts. The pictures from the camera use five or six colors to show temperatures differences on the skin. These pictures need to be interpreted by a trained and certified practitioner and show potential risk of disease. Many clinics specialize in only pictures of the breast area from a front view and left and right sides. The side pictures are needed to decrease false positives and false negatives found with only the front view. The colorful images are used to show areas of increased blood flow that may indicate inflammation or risk of disease.
Whole body thermography uses a handheld wand sensor designed with a germanium crystal to filter the readings. The sensor is also held at precisely the same angle at specific points on the skin surface. The collected temperature data is then submitted to highly sophisticated mathematical software to produce a seven-page report of findings. This report does not suffer from the interference of human error and the process has been verified by more than 30 years of research, including blood tests, imaging and biopsies. The whole body thermography report shows signature patterns of more than 40 different diseases. It also shows the disease’s severity and priority to help guide treatment decisions.
Although there are key differences between camera thermography and whole body thermography, both can play key roles in health assessment. Whole body thermography can confirm camera thermography results and can reveal underlying causes.
Dr. Rebeca Gracia is the center director for Thermography Center of Dallas, located in Addison and Rockwall. For more information or to schedule a thermogram, call 214-352-8758 or visit ThermographyCenter.com.