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Dr. Carrie Jones: Breast Thermography Part II - Common Questions

By Expert HERWriter
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1) Does thermography use radiation or compress my breasts? No, breast thermography uses infrared cameras to take pictures of the temperature of your skin.

2) Is it safe?

Yes, very safe! Breast thermography has been researched since the 1970’s and has over 800 peer-reviewed studies with over 300,000 women to back it up.

3) What will a scan tell me? If you have areas of concern on your pictures, you will be referred for additional diagnostic work-up such as a mammogram. Thermography has been shown to find cancerous or pre-cancerous cell growth up to 10 years earlier than would be otherwise detected because it detects abnormal blood vessel growth and hormone changes.

4) How often should I get scanned? Women should start early for a baseline reading. Many studies recommend having your first scan between 20 and 30 years old. If there is area of concern, you may need to return for additional scans every 6 months.

5) Will insurance cover this? In some states, insurance will cover part of the fee. Most infrared scans range from $250-500.

6) Can I still have this done if I am pregnant or nursing? Yes you can.

7) Will the infrared scan diagnose breast cancer? No. Just like a mammogram and ultrasound, infrared is a screening tool used to determine the health of your breast tissue. If there is an area of concern, you will still be referred for additional work-up such as a mammogram.

8) What if the infrared scan shows something and the mammogram does not? Remember, both are screening tools and infrared scans can show blood vessel and hormone changes up to 10 years earlier than other tests. You and your doctor will work to balance your hormones, decrease your risk factors, and encourage healthy breast tissue.

9) What if my skin always feels hot? There are specialty control procedures in place to make sure your infrared scan is accurate. Additionally, you will be asked not to wear any deodorant, lotions, or perfumes on the day of the scan.

10) Do I need a doctor’s order to get one? Not necessarily. If you are not using your insurance, you can call and set-up an appointment at most centers.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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