Saving Lives

The single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer.


As part of a multimodal approach, 95% of early stage cancers will be detected.


Browse answers to frequently asked questions about breast thermography.

Breast Thermography

Providing a risk assessment for a health condition offers a patient so much more than just limited disease detection. There are many conditions that currently have biomarkers that will warn far in advance of significant pathology. It is far better to warn of impending heart disease and diabetes than to suddenly find you have it and that significant damage has already been done. These risk markers give you time to make changes to either prevent the condition or at least control it. Thermography brings this same risk assessment to the breast health of every woman [4,5]. Not only can breast thermography warn that a cancer may be present, but also provide a marker of future risk along with a role in prevention [3-5, 10-12].

The use of thermography is based on the principle that metabolic activity and vascular circulation in both pre-cancerous tissue and the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than in normal breast tissue. In an ever-increasing need for nutrients, cancerous tumors increase circulation to their cells by holding open existing blood vessels, opening dormant vessels, and creating new ones (neoangiogenesis). This process frequently results in an increase in regional surface temperatures of the breast. Thermography uses ultra-sensitive medical infrared cameras and sophisticated computers to detect, analyze, and produce high-resolution images of these temperature variations. Because of thermography’s detection ability, these temperature variations may be among the earliest signs of breast cancer and/or a pre-cancerous state of the breast [3,6-9].

Current methods used to detect suspicious signs of breast cancer depend primarily on the combination of both physical examination and mammography. While this approach has become the mainstay of early breast cancer detection, more is needed. Since the absolute prevention of breast cancer has not become a reality as of yet, efforts must be directed at detecting breast cancer at its earliest stage. As such, the addition of thermography to the frontline of early breast cancer detection brings a great deal of good news for women.


While mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and other types of structural imaging rely primarily on finding the physical tumor, thermography is based on detecting the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. By detecting minute variations in normal blood vessel activity, infrared imaging may find thermal signs suggesting a pre-cancerous state of the breast or the presence of an early tumor that is not yet large enough to be detected by physical examination, mammography, or other types of structural imaging [3,6-9].

Certain types of cancers will not be detected (approximately 20%) by mammography for various reasons [9], but some of these cancers will be discovered by thermography [3,6-9].

Difficulties in reading mammograms can occur in women who are on hormone replacement, nursing or have fibrocystic, large, dense, or augmented breasts (6,8). These types of breast differences do not cause difficulties in reading infrared images.


Studies show that an abnormal infrared image is the single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer, 10 times more significant than a family history of the disease [5]. Consequently, in patients with a persistent abnormal thermogram, the examination results become a marker of higher future cancer risk [4-5]. Depending upon certain factors, re-examinations are performed at appropriate intervals to monitor the breasts. This gives a woman time to take a pro-active approach by working with her doctor to improve her breast health. By maintaining close monitoring of her breast health with infrared imaging, self breast exams, clinical examinations, structural imaging, and other tests, a woman has a much better chance of detecting cancer at its earliest stage and preventing invasive tumor growth.

Angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation, is necessary to sustain the growth of a tumor. Thermography may be the first signal that such a possibility is developing [3].

Just as unique as a fingerprint, each patient has a particular infrared map of their breasts. Any modification of this infrared map on serial imaging (images taken over months to years) may constitute an early sign of an abnormality. However, if a pathology is suspected, this information is used to recommend further examinations and tests.

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