Breast Thermography is a medical technique used extensively in other countries as a first-line screening procedure to assess breast health. This reliable technology exists here in the USA but there is a limited awareness and insufficient education that has resulted in its being underused in clinical practice.

Breast Thermography measures differences in infrared heat emission from normal breast tissue, benign breast abnormalities- such as cysts and fibrocystic disease – and breast cancers.  It does so with a high degree of sensitivity and accuracy.

It is a non-invasive measurement of the physiology of the breast, not the anatomy.  Although breast cancer can only be detected by tissue biopsy, Breast Thermography safely eliminates the need for most unnecessary biopsies and their accompanying costs and mental anguish.  It also does so years earlier than any other test.

Tumor tissue lacks an intact sympathetic nervous system, it cannot regulate heat loss.  When the breast is cooled to a temperature of 72° the blood vessels or normal tissue respond by constricting while tumor tissue remains hot. Over time, cancerous tissues stay hot or increase their heat.  In contrast, other possible conditions such as benign disorders, infections and fibrocystic disease cool down as they resolve.

The American Cancer Society has stated that breast cancer is the leading cause of death of women aged 40-44.  Most lethal breast cancers take approximately 15 years from their beginning until time of death.  This is why it is imperative to start reliable screening at age 25 – when the cancer is initially forming.

Thermograms are graded using the Marseilles System with grades 1-5.  TH1 and TH2 are considered normal, TH3 is moderately abnormal, and TH4 and TH5 are severely abnormal and require clinical follow up.

A trained physician can palpate a tumor when it is about 20mm in diameter – 10 to 12 years of growth …by this time approximately 25% of tumors have metastasized.

X-Ray Mammography can determine the presence of a tumor at 12-16mm in diameter.

MRI can determine the presence of a tumor at 4 – 8mm in diameter; however we do not use MRI in screening because of the cost.

Digital infrared mammography can determine the presence of a tumor that is as small as 2mm.

According to the American Cancer Society, most breast cancers can be successfully treated if the cancer is caught in the early stages.

mast sizes

Efficacy:
The IMS system is approved for use as a breast cancer screening tool by the FDA and the American Academy of Thermography.  IMS has processed nearly 80,000 screenings and our Chief Science Officer has interpreted 750,000 screenings with 37 years’ experience using a patented five-step interpretation process that combines four analytic protocols, unique in the industry.   IMS reports a 90% sensitivity and a 90% specificity.

HIPPA Compliant
All screenings are performed by an IMS Trained and Certified Technician, sent via HIPPA compliant, 512 bit Secure Socket Layer encryption internet to IMS and interpreted by the Chief Science Officer or one of his full-time staff which are trained in the processing and handling of these screenings, and e-mailed back to AIM – all within this encrypted internet.

Painless because it is “Touchless”

This procedure measures heat emanating from the body.  It is completely passive and the patient is not touched during the screening. There is no need to compress the breast tissue, no discomfort, no pain, no irradiation, no ultrasound, and no needles.

Accurate

90% Sensitivity.

Sensitivity is defined as the proportion of positive results that are correctly identified as such.

90% Specificity.

Specificity is defined as the proportion of negative results that are correctly identified as such.

Approved

The FDA and the American Academy of Thermography have approved this system for use in breast cancer screening.
FDA Title 21, Chapter 1, Sub-Chapter H, Part 884, Subpart C, Section 884.2980

Sensitivity and Specificity:

For any test to be considered effective, it must correctly identify all of the people with the disease (sensitivity) while, at the same time, correctly identify all those without the disease (specificity).

If all screenings were to be classified as having the disease, sensitivity would be 100% because there would be no patients who actually had the disease missed, however there would be many false positives.

A screening that reported that no one has the disease would produce a specificity of 100%, resulting in a very low sensitivity, and many patients who actually had the disease, would be misdiagnosed as cancer free.

Achieving a high degree of sensitivity and specificity is difficult and is a true measure of an effective test. Numerous studies have shown that Digital Infrared Mammography has an average sensitivity of 90% and an average specificity of 90%. This precision is the highest of all FDA approved breast cancer screening modalities, including x-ray mammography.