The Best Breast Cancer Screening Tests

6 Reasons Why I Recommend Thermography

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Breast Health

With thermography as your regular screening tool, it’s likely that you would have the opportunity to make adjustments to your diet, beliefs, and lifestyle to transform your cells before they became cancerous. Talk about true prevention. — Christiane Northrup, M.D.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had two friends tell me that they have had bilateral mastectomies for DCIS, or Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. This absolutely breaks my heart because DCIS is NOT cancer.  But, increasingly, due to high resolution mammograms, DCIS is being picked up on breast cancer screening tests. And, depending upon what advice a woman is then given, she may well be advised to get treatment, which she rarely needs. 

DCIS is widely misunderstood.

Currently DCIS is considered Stage 0 cancer, but for years, some experts have been recommending that changes be made to this classification, and even to the name.

One proposal calls for a new classification called “indolent” instead of “cancer” for tumors that are unlikely to cause harm. So DCIS would be called “indolent lesions of epithelial origin,” or “IDLE.” This certainly makes way more sense considering that 99.9 percent of the time DCIS is something a woman will die with but not die from!  

The Alarming Rise of Mastectomies

A large study of over 51,000 women found that the number of women who decided to have both breasts removed (double mastectomy) after being diagnosed with DCIS in one breast more than tripled between 1998 and 2005.

And, the likelihood that a woman would decide to have prophylactic mastectomy on the other healthy breast increased during the time studied: In 1998, 4.1% of the women had prophylactic mastectomy. In 2005, 13.5% had prophylactic mastectomy.  

Screening tests have led to a great deal of over diagnosis and over treatment, a view supported by breast cancer surgeon Dr. Laura Esserman, who happens to be a heroine of mine. In an article published in October, 2015 in JAMA Oncology, breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Esserman says:

Now DCIS accounts for approximately 20% to 25% of screen-detected breast cancers. The cells that make up DCIS look like invasive cancer both pathologically and molecularly, and therefore the presumption was made that these lesions were the precursors of cancer and that early removal and treatment would reduce cancer incidence and mortality. However, long-term epidemiology studies have demonstrated that the removal of 50 000 to 60 000 DCIS lesions annually has not been accompanied by a reduction in the incidence of invasive breast cancers.

The problem is that women have been trained to be so afraid of breast cancer that they’ll often willingly sacrifice their breasts just to relieve their anxiety—or what a doctor friend of mine calls “surveillance fatigue.”  Plus, most doctors are trained to do something when they have a diagnosis. And given the number of them who have been sued for “failure to diagnose,” it’s not surprising that so many women agree to sacrifice their breasts rather than take what they are taught is a huge risk, even when it isn’t.

For these reasons, it’s not surprising that the number of women having prophylactic mastectomies “just in case” has soared. The rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy more than tripled from 2002 to 2012 even though studies have shown that removing healthy breasts doesn’t improve survival. And, with celebrities such as Sharon Osbourne and Angelina Jolie having double mastectomies preventively, I expect this rate will continue to rise.

As a caring physician, I’m certainly not going to be a Monday morning quarterback and ask a woman why she didn’t do more research about DCIS before having drastic and often unnecessary surgery. That would be pouring salt into her wound. On the other hand, this all too common situation makes me more determined than ever to help educate women about breast health, including the fact that far too many women are being over diagnosed and over-treated for so called breast cancers that are not cancers. (By the way, the same thing happens with thyroid and prostate conditions!)

Monitoring Your Breast Health

Before succumbing to what I refer to as October Pink Madness, please know that there are tried and true ways to maintain breast health, and also monitor it. One of those is paying attention to your dreams. That’s right—My colleague Dr. Larry Burke has published studies showing that a dream about having breast cancer is often very accurate at diagnosing the problem. But there are other more conventional approaches, including thermography.

Why Thermography Is Your Best Breast Test Option

Every year when Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) comes around I am saddened and surprised that thermography hasn’t become more popular. Part of this is my mindset. I’d rather focus on breast health and ways to prevent breast cancer at the cellular level than put the emphasis on testing and retesting until you finally do find something to poke, prod, cut out, or radiate. I understand that mammography has been the gold standard for years. Doctors are the most familiar with this test, and many believe that a mammogram is the best test for detecting breast cancer early. But it’s not. Studies show that a thermogram identifies precancerous or cancerous cells earlier, produces unambiguous results which cuts down on additional testing, and doesn’t hurt the body.

As you may know, thermography is a form of thermal (infrared) imaging. My colleague, Philip Getson, D.O. has been a medical thermographer since 1982. Dr. Getson explains how thermography works this way:

It is widely acknowledged that cancers, even in their earliest stages, need nutrients to maintain or accelerate their growth. In order to facilitate this process, blood vessels are caused to remain open, inactive blood vessels are activated, and new ones are formed through a process known as neoangiogenesis. This vascular process causes an increase in surface temperature in the affected regions, which can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras. Additionally, the newly formed or activated blood vessels have a distinct appearance, which thermography can detect.

Remember, heat is an indication that inflammation exists, and typically inflammation is present in precancerous and cancerous cells, too. It’s also present in torn muscles and ligaments as well as arthritic joints, which thermography can also detect!

Early Breast Cancer Detection and Accuracy

Today, women are encouraged to get a mammogram, so they can find their breast cancer as early as possible. The most promising aspect of thermography is its ability to spot anomalies years before mammography. Using the same ten-year study data, (Spitalier 1) researcher Dr. Getson adds:

Since thermal imaging detects changes at the cellular level, studies suggest that this test can detect activity eight to ten years before any other test. This makes it unique in that it affords us the opportunity to view changes before the actual formation of the tumor. Studies have shown that by the time a tumor has grown to sufficient size to be detectable by physical examination or mammography, it has in fact been growing for about seven years achieving more than twenty-five doublings of the malignant cell colony. At 90 days there are two cells, at one year there are 16 cells, and at five years there are 1,048,576 cells—an amount that is still undetectable by a mammogram. (At 8 years, there are almost 4 billion cells.)

Thermography’s accuracy and reliability is remarkable, too. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, a great deal of research was conducted on thermography. In 1981, Michel Gautherie, Ph.D., and his colleagues reported on a ten-year study, which found that an abnormal thermogram was ten times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than having a history of breast cancer in your family. (Gautherie 2)

With thermography as your regular screening tool, it’s likely that you would have the opportunity to make adjustments to your diet, beliefs, and lifestyle to transform your cells before they became cancerous. Talk about true prevention.

Clearer Results, Fewer Additional Tests

It seems like the world was set on its ear in November 2009 when the United States Preventative Services Task Force said it recommended that women begin regular mammograms at 50 instead of 40, and that mammograms are needed only every two years instead of annually between the ages of 50 and 74.  Some women felt this was a way for the insurance companies to save money, but I cheered these new guidelines. The Task Force concluded that the risk of additional and unnecessary testing far outweighed the benefits of annual mammograms—and I couldn’t agree more.

Even before the U.S. Preventative Task Force’s recommendation, Danish researchers Ole Olsen and Peter Gotzsche concluded, after analyzing data from seven studies, that mammograms often led to needless treatments and were linked to a 20 percent increase in mastectomies, many of which were unnecessary. (Goetshe 3) Dr. Getson expounded, “According to the 1998 Merck Manual, for every case of breast cancer diagnosed each year, five to ten women will undergo a painful breast biopsy. This means that if a woman has an annual mammogram for ten years, she has a 50 percent chance of having a breast biopsy.”

If you’ve ever had an unnecessary biopsy or been scared by a false positive result on a mammogram, please consider getting a thermogram.  You can always use it in conjunction with the mammogram to figure out your treatment options.

6 Reasons Why I Recommend Breast Thermography

In addition to early detection and accurate test results, here are some other reasons I like thermography:

  1. Good for young, dense breasts and implants. Younger breasts tend to be denser. Thermography doesn’t identify fibrocystic tissue, breast implants, or scars as needing further investigation.
  2.  Detect cell changes in arm pit area. The arm pit area is an area that mammography isn’t always good at screening.
  3.  Great additional test. Thermography can be used as an additional test to help women and their care teams make more informed treatment decisions.
  4.  It Doesn’t Hurt. The pressure of a mammogram machine is equivalent to putting a 50-pound weight on your breast, which can be quite painful for most women.
  5.  No radiation. Another reason the United States Preventative Services Task Force reversed its aggressive mammogram guidelines was because of the exposure to radiation. It’s well known that excessive doses of radiation can increase your risk of cancer. (Semelka 4). It’s ironic that the test women are using for prevention may be causing the very problem they’re trying to avoid in the first place! And this doesn’t even touch on the harm done to the body from unnecessary biopsies, lumpectomies, mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and so forth.
  6.  Thermography is very safe. Thermography is even safe for pregnant and nursing women! It’s merely an image of the heat of your body.

Thermography is a better technology for all of the reasons I’ve already described. Plus, it gives results that are unique to you, time after time. But Dr. Getson says there are some things you need to know. For one, not all thermographic equipment is the same. When you are choosing a thermography center, be sure to ask what the “drift factor” is for their machines.  Anything over 0.2 degrees centigrade leads to poor reproducibility. Also, the room in which the study is performed should be free of outside light and the temperature should always be at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, with a proper cooling system in place.

Be sure that your thermography center of choice is backed by qualified, board-certified physicians who are specifically trained in the interpretation of these images. And, be sure that the physician is available to explain and discuss all findings. Finally, make sure the images are “stat”-ed or marked up for future comparison.

The Best Test for You

As with anything, I suggest you let your inner guidance help you in all decisions about your health. If you feel it’s best to get a bi-annual or annual mammogram, then by all means continue with them. Just be aware of the drawbacks and risks associated with the test.

And, don’t be intimidated or feel guilty if you prefer to forgo mammography completely. A thermogram can tell you how healthy your breasts are rather than just screening them for cancer.  When done properly, it also has the potential to truly detect breast cell anomalies long before mammography can detect cancer. This allows you to implement lifestyle changes that can improve the health of your breasts proactively.

In honor of Breast Health Awareness month, I encourage you to check out thermography for yourself and your loved ones!

Learn More — Additional Resources

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

References

  1. Spitalier et al., “Does Infrared Thermography Truly Have a Role in Present-Day Breast Cancer Management?” in M. Gautherie and E. Albert, eds., Biomedical Thermology: Proceedings of an International Symposium (New York: A. R. Liss, 1982), pp. 269–78; R. Amalric et al., “Does Infrared Thermography Truly Have a Role in Present-Day Breast Cancer Management?” Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, vol. 107 (1982), pp. 269–78.
  2. Gautherie and C. M. Gros, “Breast Thermography and Cancer Risk Prediction,” Cancer, vol. 45, no. 1 (January 1, 1980), pp. 51–56.
  3. Gotzsche, P. and Olsen, O., “Is Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography Justifiable?” The Lancet, vol. 355, no. 9198 (Jan. 8, 2000), pp. 129–34; Gotzsche, P. and Olsen, O., Cochrane Review on Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography, The Lancet, vol. 358, no. 9290 (Oct. 20, 2001), pp. 1340–42.
  4. Semelka, R., Imaging X-rays cause cancer: a call to action for caregivers and patients, Medscape, Feb. 13, 2006, reviewed and renewed Feb. 16, 2007.

 

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

Comments

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  1. Shell
    1 week ago

    I agree with Cynthia.
    I found a large lump and couldn’t find anyone to ultrasound without getting a mammogram first!
    It is a good sized lump easily seen and felt. Why would I need a mammogram for that? I finally found 1 place who would do the ultrasound, so I scheduled a thermogram on the same day just before that appt.
    The thermogram looked great – no issue of any kind (well, it did show the inflammation in my torn shoulder!) but the entire breast area looked cold – even toward lymph nodes.
    I had a horse head but me 9 years ago in the same spot and I had developed a cyst which eventually went away, so I am thinking it may be scar tissue.
    Later that day I got an ultrasound and the radiologist entered the room to shame me for getting a thermogram, insisted that she was pretty sure I had cancer, that it was substantial and probably affecting my lymph nodes and had wasted prescious time with a thermogram! I asked if it could be scar tissue where my horse injured me? No. It was cancer she claimed. She was so arrogant and in my space I asked her to leave.
    They wanted to do a biopsy right away. I have an appt with my Naturopath next week and will see what he has to say first. The same naturopath who successfully treated my inoperable brain tumor without killing me.

    My sister had a mammogram and they found a stage 0 cancer on a Friday and operated on her on Monday…. radiation and Tamoxifen for 5 years. They scared the crap out of her and she just did what they told her to do………Now she sees a Naturopath.

  2. Elizabeth
    2 weeks ago

    You know what breaks my heart Christiane, it’s when medical doctors make claims like, “…99.9 percent of the time DCIS is something a woman will die with but not die from!” Where is the citation for that statistic? I’m certain you just made that up! When I was diagnosed with DCIS in 2015, a single mother of 2 young children, my research indicated there was no research available for large numbers of women who had DCIS and decided it was indolent and did not treat it. It was more like “99.9%” of them DID treat it. In fact there was only one study that was currently being performed in Great Britain which was looking for subjects but I didn’t meet the criteria because I had more than the study allowed for. You cannot make a claim that women will survive DCIS if there is not research to back that up. Very few women are willing to take that risk.

    For the women out there who have been diagnosed with DCIS and are wondering what to do, my suggestion is to not take your breasts so seriously. It’s not imperative that they remain unadulterated. A double mastectomy with reconstruction was a painful and difficult experience for me. Fortunately, I had insurance. I now will never have to worry about getting breast cancer. My breasts are equally attractive as they were before and my family and I sleep better every night knowing I will continue to be the loving and caring provider to my children for the unforeseeable future. With all due respect, shame on you Dr. Northrup. You should be more responsible with your power.

  3. San
    2 months ago

    Please, what is are the best days of the cycle to schedule breast thermography?
    Thank you

  4. Donna Calk
    3 months ago

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a good thermography center in the New York City area? For breast thermography. Thank you!

    1. Lisa Paladino
      2 months ago

      If you are willing to travel to Staten Island, it is offered through Dr. Getson’s practice, in my office, every other month. http://www.statenislandbreastfeeding.com/thermography/
      Lisa Paladino CNM, IBCLC

  5. Marilyn
    4 months ago

    I have recently decided to go with Thermography instead of mammograms for screening. The problem is my OB/GYN will not prescribe it because she says that is not what is recognized for breast cancer screening. How do I find a doctor in my area who will prescribe this test over mammography?

    1. Catherine
      1 month ago

      I would first check with your insurance company to see if it is even a covered benefit. No sense getting doc to write a script if it isn’t going to be covered. Last I checked you have to pay out of pocket for it, but not a whole lot more than a lot of things we ladies pamper ourselves with, ie massages, mani-pedis, spa treatments, hair, etc…

  6. http://thermologyonline.org/Breast/breast_thermography_clinics.htm This is a link to the American College of Thermology’s list of thermography clinics, organized by country and state.

    All cameras used by these clinics are classified by the FDA as medical devices and are made by Meditherm, in the U.S., at an FDA-inspected factory in Lake Oswego, Oregon. (Some clinics use industrial thermography cameras.)

    Thank you, Dr. Northrup, for getting this important information out to women.

  7. Lori Peters
    5 months ago

    I am a thermographer in Erie Pennslyvania and I am a part of several offices all over the U.S. You can find us at brasthermography.com

    1. Erin
      4 months ago

      I was just on that website and there were no Erie offices listed. (I was hoping to find somewhere close to Meadville!) I’d love your information.

  8. Cherry Salmon
    5 months ago

    There are a couple of options for breast thermography in Nashville. I was wondering if there are certain questions to ask regarding the machines (such as power/ability) in order to make the best choice? Or are all the machines designed equally? In reading about thermography, a lot of information states that thermography is only able to see inflammation closer to the surface of the skin. So, my question is around this. Are some types of thermography machines better than others in their ability to see the entire breast? Thank you, Cherry

  9. Stephanie
    6 months ago

    Hello…
    Can you please let me know the name of providers in my location who do thermography,
    I live in Morristown, New Jersey
    Thank you

    1. Sharon
      5 months ago

      http://lisasthermographyandwellness.com/
      She’s great! She is kind, caring and you will love having her do your thermography.

  10. Cynthia
    7 months ago

    I had a thermogram that came back clear after my doctor found a so called lump. I am being pressured to have mammo plus ultrasound. I’m 47 and have small dense fibritic breasts. I am concerned about false positives and unnecessary biopsy. I do not think that I have cancer. My husband wants me to have the radiation, though he says “not every year”. I asked what if he had to smash his sensitive parts for a picture knowing energy picture increases his cancer risk and he cannot answer. I can’t get an helpful advice…no one will risk offering any opinion that supports me relying on thermography and my own sense of my health. I think it’s just fibroid like ones I have in my abdomen. My doc says at least get the ultrasound, but right now it looks like insurance won’t allow it unless I get the radiation too. How dumb is that? But I still think the ultrasound will still lead to more tests. I just am flabbergasted at how much pressure there is to submit to conventional imagine, and animosity toward alternatives. My doctor dismissed the thermogram out of hand with “I don’t know anything about this” when I gave her the report, and didn’t even want to look at it. I still can’t decide what to do. Now it appears that my husband’s health is being affected by the stress from me not submitting to radiation and worrying about whether I have cancer. It all feels ridiculous.

    1. Julie Koewler
      6 months ago

      Hi Cynthia, It saddens me you have no one has responded to you post. It’s understandable you feel so frustrated. There are no simply solutions to what you are dealing with. I can’t say I have been in your situation or know the to what levels of our frustration is. I simply wanted to acknowledge and validate what you are feeling. In offering advice, I would like to say to go with you gut on what feels right. It sounds like your biggest concern over this is the stress your husband is experiencing. I’m wondering if there are some ways you both can talk about the situation and ways to come up with positive next steps that is workable to both of you? Wishing you all the best!

    2. Barbara
      3 months ago

      I am a Thermographer located in Western Pennsylvania. I have a mobile unit and I am will to travel to surrounding states to offer my services. If you own a clinic or office and would like to have me, I will come to you. Please feel free to call anytime at 412-378-7506 All About Thermography ask for Barbara
      P.S. Most Medical Doctors don’t know what to do with a Thermogram once it is presented, seek out a Holistic doctor who can eradicate your problem if you have one, before turning into disease or cancer. Thermography offers the earliest detection of breast changes years before mammogram. This is the greatest benefit, it gives you TIME to heal your problem before having to submit to conventional medicine.

  11. Kate Qadir
    8 months ago

    I’m saddened to realize in Georgia there’s no such type testing available any recommendations?

    1. IP
      3 months ago

      That is not true. At least true for Atlanta. We have a few places. I have done it a few times. Google Mobile Thermographic Imaging. They cover more than Atlanta.

    2. Jane
      2 months ago

      Dr Melville and Dr Schultz in the Athens, Ga area have thermography in their offices. I have used it for several years after a DCIS diagnosis. I elected to treat naturally with a Natropath working with these Doctors, and have a lumpectomy. It was a great success. I also have radically changed my health through eating and exercise along with supplementation. I am after two years having a plastic surgeon adjust the breasts to match. All the surgeons are requiring a mammo before they will do the surgery. SO, after three years of no mammo, I am doing one. and then I will continue with the thermography annually at least. The Mobile Thermographic Imaging group in Georgia that travels can be reached at 678.852.8548.

  12. Dr. Maria Taheny
    8 months ago

    Excellent information! As a clinician in psychology (Phd) I see those with anxiety relating to impending death. Even if there is no physical threat of death, a client will convince herself of a potential threat if a doctor tells her it may occur. The clients most fearful of the condition are often in need of a psychologist to work through the fear, not a test to take away the fear. Fear simply indicates the value one places on the potential lost object, in this case Life, and a test will not make fear retreat. It just gives a false sense of security that looms over them like a cloud. More importantly, an opportunity is being missed on several levels. The anxiety will remain even after a negative mammogram. However, we know that anxiety actually inhibits the immune system, so if a tumor is missed by mammography (because it is too small to detect) coping with the anxiety can produce a change in the body’s response to the tumor.

    Kudos for saying out loud what many women fear was already the case. Logic tells us not to slam our breasts against the shower door and a wall. Why on earth would we accept that type of treatment for the sake of “just in case” with mammography?

  13. Ashley ageloff
    8 months ago

    I received my first screening in 2013. Now I do thermography screenings professionally. I am passionate about spreading awareness in order to save lives, and to prevent cancer from developing through holistic techniques.

  14. Joanne
    8 months ago

    Where is thermography available in Quebec and specifically Montreal?

    1. Sharon
      5 months ago

      our clinic offers thermography in ottawa and we will be setting up a location shortly in Quebec. You can check out our website at http://www.thermographymedicalclinic.com

  15. Eileen mccormick
    9 months ago

    I am 73 and have not had a mammogram for 2 yrs. I thought after 74 you didn’t have to have anymore. What is your view on this.

  16. ORT
    9 months ago

    Thermogram isn’t accurate. Had a lump and before having a mammo I had thermography at Dr. Getson’s clinic and the result was negative. A few weeks later I had my mammo and my doctor ordered a biopsy and found out I had stage 2 CA. Thermogram isn’t accurate.

    1. Margie
      8 months ago

      I am not a doctor but I have had thermography. Did you have an established baseline? It is my understanding that a woman gets scanned and then rescanned 3 months later. If there is not a difference between the 2 scans then that is her baseline scan. Then from that point her yearly exams are compared to that original baseline scan. If you didn’t have an established baseline there was nothing to compare to.

  17. Betty minifie
    9 months ago

    I am wonder after age 75 how often one should have a thermogram. I agree with you, until men put there scrotums under 50 lbs why should we!!!!Betty

  18. Linda Clinger
    9 months ago

    My gynecologist recommended my bi-annual mammogram. I asked about thermography instead and he told me that thermography has not been shown to be reliable. After reading so much about mammography, I believe thermography is the way to go for me, so I will be paying out-of-pocket to have this done. It just makes sense.

  19. S Wedemeyer
    9 months ago

    Had type of DCIS HER2-NEU 3+ positive. Minimal surgery; dose of IORT – over and done with. I don’t find 3D mammograms to be anything painful and follow doc orders. So far, so good. I’d prefer not to sit around for years wondering if I will end up with killer cancer. Maybe some DCIS issues can be ignored. I was told mine wasn’t. If thermography was the best way to go, it should be a regular “thing” out there and covered by insurance. I do many alternative things and study up on all that affects me but I hope to have good health to the end and no stress worrying about “do I or do I not have cancer?”

  20. Marjorie
    9 months ago

    In Canada, this ineffective practice has been discontinued. “Health Canada has issued “cease and desist” orders to clinics offering breast thermography as a cancer diagnostic device because thermography cameras are not licensed as a medical device in Canada, and because thermography is viewed as ineffective by medical experts.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-contact_thermography

    1. Alida Carslake
      9 months ago

      I believe this has been reversed. I have had thermographs in the past & have been receiving emails to come back again for another from my clinic in Canada.

      1. Jan
        8 months ago

        I had one last week in Ottawa.

  21. gina
    9 months ago

    Twenty-four years ago I was diagnosed with stage 1 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, given 6 weeks of localized radiation, and told to watch and wait. I am still waiting. Eleven years ago I was diagnosed with DCIS in my right breast, and told to have bilateral mastectomies. Because of my previous experience, against my surgeon’s wishes, I chose five years of Tamoxifin and to watch and wait. I am still waiting. Five years ago, after five years of being in menopause, I began bleeding heavily. A benign polyp which had caused the bleeding was removed. However, cancerous cells were found in the lining of my uterus and I then underwent a hysterectomy. My ovaries were also removed at the time, without consulting me, because the surgeon later claimed, ” I didn’t need them anymore.” I have used both conventional medicine and alternative therapies throughout the years, which is why I believe I am still here. And after reading Dr. Northrup’s indorsement for thermography, I just might add it to my yearly mammography.

  22. Devorah
    9 months ago

    Unfortunately, insurance does not cover thermography, and the cost is a few hundred dollars.

    1. maryon
      8 months ago

      Thermograms are not covered in US, but for some of us, neither are mammograms.
      Thermogram I had in2009 showed some type of disturbance in my lower esophagus. I had opted for a breast and also a midsection/abdominal thermogram. Oddly enough, this summer, i have begun to have physical symptoms that i can now see that thermogram picked up years ago, but I had forgotten about until now because I was focused on breast thermogram.
      So I do believe they are a valid part of breast / whole body diagnostic, it would be helpful here in US if more physicians would at least look at the images and help us make good decisions on where to go next.

    2. Lanora
      7 months ago

      Worth every cent. I have had them for 11 years. Instead of surgery for DCIS, cleared in 3 months .

  23. Sharon
    9 months ago

    I had fibrocystic breasts for years. I’ve had a few mammos in my 40s. I had one in 2014 that was suspect and they wanted me to come back. I found out about thermography and started getting them. They showed I had fibrocystic breasts, after my own research I started taking Iodine/Iodide and after 3 months had another thermogram and one a year later. My breast are a cool shade of blue (no heat; no pain) and now at low risk of breast cancer. It is so shocking that not more people know about this safer technology that shows more upstream. Dr. N. I owe it to you as I found an interview with you online (maybe w. Dr. Mercola) and you impacted me tremendously with your approach to health and healthy aging!

    1. Eliz
      9 months ago

      Wow, so Iodine/Iodide helped your fibrosistic breasts? How much do you take? Do you add it to food?

  24. Kristine Paranica
    9 months ago

    It would be nice to have a list of clinics offering thermography in the US. Can you post a list to the blog?

    1. Sharon
      5 months ago

      iamtonline.org/for-patients/

      go to this site and click on patients and then click on find a location.

  25. Glenda
    9 months ago

    Hi Dr Northrup. IN Perth Western Australia we cannot get thermography and I have previously had mammogram followed by ultrasound. My question is having a ultrasound only sufficient screening when thermography is not available? Im 60 years young.

  26. Gina Johnson
    9 months ago

    The problem I’ve found is that many medical groups in Utah ( intermountain Health Center (IHC) hospitals and clinics University of Utah hospitalsand clinics and others don’t have or offer Thermography. There us one facility in American Fork Utah that does but, my insurance will not cover the service. I checked with my insurance company and until the ceo and board choose to cover this you are stuck with Mammograms. We all need to contact our insurance companies to give us thus option for care as well. Is there a secret as to how to get this implimented? The more you know the better you can care for you and your family. Thank you for the article. This is the third one I’ve read about thermography this year.

  27. Brenda Kelliher
    9 months ago

    USA is 9th in the world (behind 8 European National Health systems) for breast cancer recurrence, survival -with almost no improvement in 50 years, and NO modern evidence of the value of chemo or radiation, just some marginal evidence of Aromatase Inhibitors ( kill ALL estrogen, destroy bones, brain) and Tamoxifen (declared carcinogen, uterine cancer/plus strokes) … these long term chemo drugs take daily for 5-10 years) reducing risk of recurrence only very slightly and dished out for DCIS and for IDC equally, even being sold now as preventive medication for women with a BRCA gene!!!Thermography is the recommended baseline imaging in Switzerland now – followed by ultrasound …and mammogram (Xray) only as a last step before conducting biopsy.
    HOWEVER – thermography, and ultrasound, take more time ( = $$$$$) and require much greater focus and skill from the technician ….
    AND Big Radiation (General Electric, etc) make billions from the antiquated machinery, leasing and locking radiology practices into a cash treadmill with GE Finance….. GE, Siemens, Westinghouse etc see mammography and irradiation machinery as a GROWING Market for the future in Asia, South America “as the shift to Western diet increases and cancer rates grow” (from a very extensive Radiation Industry FOrecast I had to look at as part of my global industries forecasting job) …..

  28. Maryann
    9 months ago

    Informative article. I agree with the overtreatment of cancer. I am amazed at the women I meet who had double mastectomies after hearing they had DCIS, plus chemo and radiation. I hope in the future this is stopped.
    It is sad as a 2x malignant cancer survivor/patient. The non malignant cells I don’t worry about as much, but get tired of getting cut (I had melanoma also ). I hope you write more about breast health this month. Especially on follow up care for patients after having infiltrating ductal carcinoma or other malignant breast cancers. The treatment options available (tamoxifen and AI’s) seem to be limited with side effects that I do not want. I will look into thermography in the Atlanta area.

  29. Colleen
    9 months ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup,
    Until recently I might have agreed with you but due to a recent family event I now have to adamantly disagree. I have a sister who was doing thermography and was just diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer with mets to lymph nodes and rib. She was diagnosed after a self exam and mamogram. In theory it sounds like a great idea that should work, so while she did not do thermography every single year she did it often enough that her cancer should have been picked up. I could now never recommend or consider thermography.

  30. Grace
    9 months ago

    I was diagnosed with DCIS in 2011 and had a lumpectomy. There were no cancer cells in the tissue removed in surgery; they were all removed with the biopsy. After much discussion with my surgeon, oncologist, and radiation oncologist, we agreed that I could forego further therapy because the post surgery lab was clean.

    In the first few years after surgery, I had 8 or 9 mammograms. I was very concerned about this much radiation explosure but all the medical people seemed to think nothing of it.

    I haven’t had a mammo since 2014. I am still concerned that I had “too much too quickly”.

    I hope to find a thermography clinic with knowledgable staff who can give me some insight here. The medical world has us scared to death NOT to forego mammograms, but I see many reasons that I should.

    And it is hugely irritating that Medicare will not pay for thermography. A woman should have a choice!

    1. Mary Lynne Johnson
      9 months ago

      I agree!

  31. Sandra baruch
    10 months ago

    I have had Thermologies for the past 5 years.everything each year came back normal.I got a letter this year from my insurance company saying that they noticed I haven’t had a mamo for quite some time,and recommended I get one,free of charge.So just to play both sides safe,I got one.The experience was pleasant and the results were normal.Now,since i have peace of mind,next year i will continue with the thermagram.

  32. Christiane
    12 months ago

    Here’s a good resource for finding a good thermography center. http://www.btiscan.com/ I hope this helps.

    1. Anja Thybo
      9 months ago

      Dear Dr. Northrup – do you know of any certified thermography centers in Europe – preferably close to Copenhagen/Denmark, since it’s where I live? Thank you for sharing your voice with the world! Loving regards, Anja Thybo

      1. Sharon
        5 months ago

        go to iamtonline.org/for-patients/

        click on patients and go to find location.

  33. Kathleen Ivie
    12 months ago

    Are there any thermography offices in Salt Lake City, UT? I don’t know where I would even begin looking.

  34. Christiane Northrup
    12 months ago

    There is an excellent thermography clinic in the Toronto, Canada area run by Dr Alexander Mostovoy. Check this out: info@thermographyclinic.com

  35. NYArtist
    1 year ago

    Try finding someone near Kingston, NY who provides the test. If you do, email szukidavis@aol.com/ (But NOT Susan Wilson).

    1. Kelly Ann
      1 year ago

      NYArtist – in CT Dr Ginger Nash on Woodbridge. She is great!

  36. tb
    1 year ago

    I had a thermography and discovered that I have a tiny beginning of breast cancer. The cancer was detected in the thermography but not in the scan. Further blood tests and over 6K out of pocket for blood test confirming cancer. Now here is the catch! insurance and medicare does not cover tests or treatments because cancer thermography is “non conclusive”. Must have a conclusive test with a mammogram and biopsy.
    There is no way I can afford the recommended 3 month chemo at 20K a month + + +. Patting myself on the back for early detection (yip di doo), but what are your treatment options if you do not have the money to spend on life saving treatments?? Catch 22!!!

    1. Norma
      9 months ago

      There are natural alternatives and they are effective. Chemo and radiation will destroy your cells and will make you worse. People had been cured of cancer. There are some clinics across the border that treat you naturally but they are expensive. If you go to Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico, there will cost you the most 1,000.00 per week and you come back and follow the same nutrition system and you will be healed.

  37. Lynn
    1 year ago

    I live in the Sarasota, FL area and would like to know if you recommend a doctor in my area who uses thermography instead of traditional mammogram. Thank you.

    1. JJ
      9 months ago

      Our office has a visiting thermographer come in once a month (in FL – Orlando / Winter Park area) for screenings. We are Herbs and More, Inc. Our website is http://www.herbsandmorestore.com. I know that the thermographer also brings her roadshow to Sarasota. You can call Kristin at Central Florida Medical Thermography at 863-712-5037. Her company uses Physician’s Insight to read the thermal imaging.

      1. Sharon
        5 months ago

        kristen is the best!

  38. Julieth
    1 year ago

    Hello. I was diagnose wit stage one slow grow estrogen and progesterone positive breast cancer .. I got this images taking and they told me I have a healthy breast … Thus, so I don’t know if I should continue doing this images! The MRI and the biopsy confirm the CA. Why is this happening if I read so many research stating that thermal images suppose to see CA at early stages.. they can’t see my at stage one .. I don’t want to have more mammogram or even MRI to follow up on the grow of my CA because of the effect of radiation. But, I don’t know what to think about this. When I had my first images I did had the CA but I shoose not to give this information to the tech because i want them to tell me what they see. Now they told me there is nothing ! How we explain this … Should I go to the same place a do my second follow up .. The tech is mad with me because I dint told her since the beginning ,! So that is my story .. What are your thought Appreciate your feed back . Thank you!

    1. NYArtist
      1 year ago

      No radiation in an MRI

      1. Brenda Kelliher
        9 months ago

        MRI uses gadolinium which metal lodges in your bones and brain ..is NOT washed out by your kidneys (extensive proof in Japan, Europe) …
        AND MRI tears at the very atoms of your body – I will NEVER have one again ….
        Be Well This Day

    2. Christiane Northrup
      12 months ago

      Biopsy is the gold standard of diagnosis.,Imaging of all kinds sometimes misses pathology. If the tissue diagnosis was DCIS ( ductal carcinoma in situ) this is NOT cancer. The term needs to be changed because it scares people to death. And in the vast majority of cases it doesn’t lead to invasive cancer. Far
      Too many women are having treatment and even mastectomy for this diagnosis.

      1. SAR
        4 months ago

        Yes & DCIS is stage 0 not stage 1. So either she was misinformed about the stage or she really doesn’t have DCIS

  39. Stacy Rubis
    1 year ago

    Does anyone know a good thermographer in the NYC area? for breast thermography.

    1. Donna Calk
      3 months ago

      Stacy, did you ever find a good thermographer in the NYC area for breast thermography? Please share if you did :). Donna

  40. Frances Vizzini
    1 year ago

    I have recently relocated from CA, where the availability of naturopathic and integrative medical practices are more available and accepted. I would appreciate your recommendation of a breast thermography facility in Westchester County, NY with acceptable equipment and qualified, specifically trained physicians who can interpret the thermagrams.”

  41. AngelMarlow
    1 year ago

    Thank you for such a beautiful article, very informative. I have been using Thermography in my office for 10 years and the benefits of thermography for both men and women are invaluable.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      12 months ago

      Thank you!

  42. Jan
    1 year ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup, I am seriously considering switching to thermography from mammography, and I also plan to write about the subject for my online magazine. Like every other important medical topic, there are strong opinions on both sides. I am in search of specific facts, which opponents of thermography claim do not exist.

    Can you refer us to the studies you mention that show a thermogram identifies precancerous or cancerous cells earlier and produces unambiguous results? Thank you!

  43. Lynette Benda
    1 year ago

    Can someone tell me a reputable Dr. In the Chicago area or Chicago suburbs?

    1. Absolutely, Dr. Nicholas LeRoy – he is in Chicago, and has been performing breast thermography for 20 years. http://drnick.net/ He even comes to our office in southeastern Illinois twice a year so that we can offer this to our patients!
      Dr. Rhonda J. Button
      Carmi, IL

  44. Carol Fretz
    2 years ago

    Is thermography available in Lancaster Co., PA?

  45. Mary Lou
    2 years ago

    I Amaya breast cancer survivor since 2004. I had DCIS of the right breast. I had colon cancer stage one in 2000. The onogoligist had me have lumpectomy and radiation.
    I don’t really like having mammograms,they really hurt and your breast hurts for couple of weeks too. Do you feel that thermogram would be good for me?

  46. Sue
    2 years ago

    Firstly I an Canadian and the Canadian health association does not believe Thermology is effective and as far as I am aware, there is no where in Canada for me to get this testing done annually. So how and where can I go about getting this testing? Also, you list criteria one should know about the equipment. How does the average person know if the piece of equipment they are using for Thermology meets the criteria? Help!

    1. Desiree
      1 year ago

      Hi Sue, I’m live in Toronto, if you find where thermology is done please forward the info . I will greatly appreciate it. My doc is forcing me for my annual Mamogram check up but I don’t want to do it that way.
      Your sincerely
      Desiree

      1. Vera
        1 year ago

        Your doctor can’t “force you” to get a mammogram. Just say no. You can refuse any test or procedure you like even in Ontario and they don’t do it annually here it’s every 2 years after 50. You can get thermography at pro-health imaging if you want to. I don’t get any cancer screening as I have an anxiety disorder and would have no quality of life worrying about more things than I already obsess about. If I get cancer I’m checking out with Carter vs. Canada, I wouldn’t get any treatment anyway. My take is there’s no virtue in living to a demented old age, I think like Ezekiel Emanuel. Now finding a doctor that respect your rights is another story. I just use a walk-in for my health care where they don’t force you to get stuff you don’t want.

      2. Heather Lewis
        1 year ago

        There is a small, lovely little town just east of Toronto, Port Perry. Sunleite health clinic. They do thermometry there. My husband is going to give me a session for my birthday. Check it out. I really don’t want squished boobs again.

      3. Janice
        9 months ago

        Hi Desiree,

        I have a thermography clinic in Burlington, ON with outreach clinics in Southern Ontario. You are welcome to visit http://www.healthscan.ca to make contact.

    2. Tracey
      9 months ago

      Hi there,

      I live in Victoria, B.C. and there is a private thermography clinic located here.
      Good luck with your search:)
      Tracey

  47. Mark
    7 years ago

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  48. LORNA
    7 years ago

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  49. Julie D
    7 years ago

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