A noninvasive and painless test that doctors sometimes use for monitoring early breast changes is known as breast thermography or thermal imaging. These changes could indicate breast cancer. The whole process is based on the detection of increases in temperature. There is no use of radiation in thermography. It involves an ultra-sensitive camera, which produces high-resolution, infrared photographs or heat images of the breast.
In order to detect subtle changes in the breast by revealing areas of heat and cold, thermography uses digital infrared imaging. On a thermograph, areas of high or fast blood flow in the body will show as being warmer than other areas. Cancer cells grow when a tumour develops and these cells need additional blood to reproduce. As a result of this, the blood flow to that area increases. This makes the skin in that area warmer. The detection of changes indicating various conditions can be possible in thermography. These conditions include cancer, an infection, fibrocystic disease and vascular disease. The presence of cancer cannot be confirmed in thermography. You can know about changes that may need further investigation.
During the procedure
In a doctor’s clinic or any other healthcare centre, thermography normally takes place. The following are some important points about the process:
- The distance between the person and the camera is about 6-8 feet.
- The test is painless and noninvasive. There is no compression of the breast in this process.
- The duration of the process is around 15 minutes.
If you want to go for thermography, you can request the best oncologist in Kolkata to recommend a proper service provider.
The detections during the test
The detection of a lump is not possible in thermography. You can know about changes in the temperature of body and skin. The doctor can suspect from these changes that there may be an increased metabolic activity or blood flow in a particular area. When the cancer cells strive to maintain themselves, these changes occur. It is not always the case that there is the presence of cancer if the results show something abnormal. There can be other issues such as a benign tumour, mastitis and fibrocystic breast disease.
If there is the detection of any abnormalities during thermography, you should seek further screening that may include a mammogram. A cancer doctor in Kolkata may recommend an ultrasound or MRI scan and a biopsy if a mammogram confirms the presence of a lump.
There are some benefits of thermography as a screening option for breast cancer. These benefits are the following:
- There is no pain.
- The test is not invasive.
- There is no use of radiation.
With the passing of time, the importance of breast thermography is increasing as it provides valuable information in the cases of women with dense breasts, non-specific physical or mammographic findings or a previous history of breast surgery or radiation.