Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I hear from some people that you need to "cold stress" the patient. What is "cold stressing"? Do I really need to do it?
stressing is a test to measure sympathetic function, It is a useful
test for a number of conditions including RSD (CRPS). Protocols used for breast screening do not require routine
cold stressing but it may be requested by a referring physician or
Q. Who certifies your thermographers?
technicians are trained and certified by the American College of
Clinical Thermology. The American College of Clinical Thermology is an
accredited medical association.
Q. Who reads the images and reports?
are sent to an interpretation service who employ a peer reviewed board of medical doctors who are
all board certified as thermologists by the American College of
Clinical Thermology. These doctors have many years experience and are
able to ask for second opinions whenever necessary.
Q. How quickly will I get my report back?
are normally ready within 1 week. If you need your report within 24
hours you can pay an 'urgent' fee.
Q. What is the difference between thermography and getting a mammogram? Can I do it instead of a mammogram?
mammogram can detect a dense object in the breast, but it has never
prevented even one person from getting cancer. Thermography is a
different kind of test. It detects the physiological changes produced by a developing pathology up to 5 to 8 years before detection
on a mammogram. This makes it more appropriate for early screening. A mammogram is more appropriate for detecting mature, late
stage pathology. This makes the decision for breast screening preference
a personal decision. A mammogram and a thermogram do not replace each
Q. Can it tell me if I have cancer?
purpose of thermography is to determine if there are signs of abnormal
activity in the body, not to detect cancer. Any physiological changes detected by the thermogram should be followed up with patient's physician for more definitive testing and diagnosis.
Q. Can it tell me if I have heart disease?
disease is one of the most difficult conditions to detect until its
latest stages. Thermography can see the inflammation and vascular
activity that is known to eventually develop into heart or
Q. Can it detect inflammatory breast cancer (lBC)?
A. Thermography can detect any inflammatory condition.
Q. Is this new and why haven't I heard of it?
imaging was first used for military applications in WWII. There was an
attempt to find an application for medical testing in the 50's. For years
it was poorly understood and the technology was underdeveloped. Today,
technology has evolved and knowledge of the functioning of the human
body has made thermography an extremely valuable tool for early
detection of the most serious diseases. This offers the opportunity for
prevention, which is not yet commonly recognized by traditional
medicine. As prevention becomes more widely accepted, thermography will
become more widely used.
Q. How often should I do this?
A. For breast
imaging, the best way to utilize thermography is to establish a baseline
with 2 exams 90 days apart. After the baseline is established, the
interpreting thermologist will make recommendations for follow-up. For
most patients, once a year is recommended. Each exam is charged for seperately.
Q. Why do I need to come back in three months for another breast study ?
most accurate result we can produce is change over time. Before we can
start to evaluate any changes, we need to establish an accurate and
stable baseline for you. This baseline represents your unique thermal
fingerprint, which will only be altered by developing pathology. A
baseline cannot be established with only one study, as we would have no
way of knowing if this is your normal pattern or if it is actually
changing at the time of the first exam. By comparing two studies three
months apart we are able to judge if your breast physiology is stable
and suitable to be used as your normal baseline and safe for continued
The reason a three-month interval is used relates to the period of
time it takes for blood vessels to show change…… a period of time less
than three months may miss significant change…….. a period of time much
more than three months can miss significant change that may have already
taken place. There is NO substitute for establishing an accurate baseline. A single study cannot do this. The three month study is charged seperately as a comparative study.
Q. ls it safe for implants?
A. Since there is no physical contact, implants cannot be damaged. Also, implants do not affect the results.
Q. Does insurance cover it?
A. No. We expect payment
at the time of service.
Q. I was told that grayscale thermograms were higher resolution than color, why don't you show grayscale?
A. There is no difference in resolution between color and grayscale with
modern digitized images. When images were viewed on an old TV screen, it
took three phosphors on the cathode ray tube to make one color dot…..
it only takes one phosphor to make a shade of grey, the resolution in
black and white therefore, would be three times greater than it was in
Q. What is the difference between high definition thermography and other types ?
about all modern cameras provide high-definition images. The
'definition' of a thermogram relates to how many individual temperature
measurements are taken to build the image. The actual definition is not
as important as how accurate and sensitive those temperature
measurements are. The higher the definition, the better the picture will
look but this does not mean that the accuracy is any better.
Describing a thermogram as 'high definition' may be confusing and
misleading as most so-called high-definition images are produced by
software manipulation of the data.
Low definition would be
considered below 160 x 120 pixels. Industry standard is between 160 x
120 up to 320 x 240 pixels. High-definition would be considered above
this and can be as high as 640 x 512 pixels.
Providing thermogram and breast
imaging services for Hampton Roads cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk,
Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Yorktown