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Can Thermography Detect Cancer?

The technology behind thermography has advanced tremendously in industrial applications over the last 50 years. In short, thermal imaging allows us to see variations in temperature from one field of evaluation to the next. Thermographic cameras have been used extensively in construction and by firefighters to see through smokey areas. However, the most cutting edge potential for thermography lies in its medical detection use.

As more and more women question the use of radiation emitting mammograms as the primary screening tool to detect cancer, thermography has gained in appeal. Thermography is believed to detect, throughout the body, very subtle changes in temperature that can be the result of factors indicating health issues. This can include inflammation and increased blood flow due to vascular proliferation/angiogenesis/tumor growth.

There are critics, of course who reference past evaluations of thermography’s ability to show effective detection. However, those studies are in many cases from over 30 years ago and thermographic detection cameras have advanced tremendously. Just think of how cameras have advanced over the last 30 years (e.g. old Polaroids…….to digital cameras on smartphones).

Although, I would not suggest that women abandon or forgo regular mammograms, I do believe that we need to be open to new detective technologies that cause fewer side effects. I do believe that as thermograms become more acknowledged, accepted, available (and as fresher data is accumulated) they may become an effective companion and potential replacement for radiation screening. Every advancement in medicine was possible only when we were willing to consider new options.

I recently interviewed Catherine Johnson, the owner of Silk Thermal Imaging. We discussed the protocols, procedures and promise of thermography.  If you would like to learn more about thermography, access the interview here.

 

 


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