Does Thermography Replace A Mammogram?
No - each test sees different breast health characteristics. A mammogram is an anatomical test (a breast x-ray) that looks for masses in the breast tissue, while a thermogram is a physiological test that looks for changes in blood vessel circulation within the breast. Breast thermography is a test to assess breast health and monitor dietary and lifestyle changes.
In NZ, the National Screening Unit currently recommends that women aged 45 and over have screening mammograms every two years. BreastScreen Aotearoa offers free mammograms for women in the 45 to 69 eligible age range. For more information click here.
Is There a Best Time to Have Breast Thermography?
If you are still having monthly cycles your appointment is best scheduled in the first 15 days before pre-menstrual breast changes occur. If you are post menopausal you can schedule your appointment anytime.
Is Breast Thermography Safe?
Yes, thermography is a safe, non-invasive, non-contact test with no radiation. Thermography simply creates a thermal image of your breasts by measuring the heat emitted naturally by the body. Thermography is approved by the FDA and has been used in the United States and Europe for over 30 years alongside mammography.
Can Thermography Diagnose Breast Cancer?
No. Thermography identifies abnormal physiological changes in your breasts. Mammography, a type of x-ray, identifies certain structures in the breast that can potentially be cancer. With both mammography and thermography, definitive diagnosis can only be obtained through other procedures such as a biopsy.
How Much Does It Cost?
An appointment costs $220 including GST. This covers the initial imaging appointment, the analysis of the scans, and a full written report.
I have breast implants - is thermography safe?
Yes, breast implants do not interfere with thermography. Breast thermography is painless and safe, using no radiation or compression. It can be used effectively and safely for all women including pregnant or nursing women, women with dense breast tissue and women with breast implants.
What does the procedure involve?
After disrobing from the waist up, you sit in a temperature controlled room (approximately 18 -20°C). A number of images of the breasts are taken from different angles there is then a resting period of 10 minutes before the next set of images are taken There is no contact with the breasts at any stage during the procedure. These images are then analysed and sent to you 5 to 7 working days following your appointment. All of our appointments are with female technicians.
At the beginning of your appointment you will be asked to disrobe from the waist up in order for the thermogram images to be taken. For this reason, it is a good idea to wear a skirt, trousers or shorts to your appointment.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, a referral is not necessary.
How often do I need a thermogram?
This depends on the results of your first thermogram. With no abnormal indications and depending on your age, we will generally recommend an annual thermogram. If your scan shows changes, depending on the level of risk, you will be asked to have a follow up appointment sooner.