What is Medical Thermography?

Medical Thermography uses an infrared camera that creates an image by converting heat energy that radiates from the body into a signal which can then be viewed on a monitor and printed. Using no radiation and no contact, it’s ideal for disease prevention because of the high level of sensitivity and specificity. A scan can be performed on the whole body and can be done as often as desired. Most patients get a full body thermography scan every 6 months, others every 3 months and some once a year. Some opt to scan just the breasts and others choose a trunk scan which visualizes the body’s organ systems.

What can cause an abnormal scan? Abnormal heat can be caused by cancer, inflammation, toxins, hormonal imbalance, nerve damage, and lack of circulation, just to name a few. We are symmetric—two eyes, a right and a left side of the body that mirror each other, in most cases, ten fingers and ten ten toes. Therefore, our heat signature should also mirror both sides of the body. If there is an extreme hot or cold spot on one side of our body that’s not reflected on the other, we need to make sure it’s not something that needs attention to avoid future issues.

Why would I get one?

People typically pursue thermography for one of three reasons: they have a loved one who has cancer, they are looking for a different test for breast cancer detection or they want to prevent disease in their body. A thermography screening is the best solution in all these cases. 

Our medical model is reactive in nature; many people wait for symptoms to arise before they seek care. At that point, diagnostic testing is often invasive and usually involves radiation. Further, much of that imaging is not sensitive enough to detect issues so that they may be treated preventatively. By contrast, medical infrared thermography can detect changes on a cellular level, often years before other diagnostic techniques. Studies indicate thermography is 97% accurate, while mammography is only 83% accurate (meaning there is is a greater chance of false positive). Medical infrared thermography is also very safe; it’s safe enough for pregnant and nursing women. It’s simply an accurate image of the heat radiating from your body and displays changes at the cellular level.

It’s suggested for women to schedule mammograms so they can find their breast cancer as early as possible. By opting for regular thermography breast cancer screening appointments, it’s likely that she could have the opportunity to make healthy lifestyle decisions to take care of her cells before they became detectable on anatomical testing (mammogram, ultrasound or MRI). Now that’s prevention.

What to Expect

If you should choose to book an appointment, here’s a little more information of what to expect for your thermography session.

  • Our Certified Thermography Technicians make sure particular protocols are followed before screening.
  • Thermography is performed in the nude (thong or jock strap ok but not preferred to check the skin everywhere) because clothes and hair hide accurate heat signatures. Privacy screening mandatory for men.
  • You will be asked to wait for about 10 minutes to get your skin temperature to a definable level.
  • You’ll be standing in front of the camera and sitting in a chair in 6 – 30 different positions depending on the screening you choose.
  • The actual imaging takes 10-30 mins.

We then send the images to a team of trained thermologists from Professional Academy of Clinical Thermography (PACT) to have them interpret the images. When the report is ready, a consultation with Dr. Doyle will be scheduled. After you receive your report, you can go over your report for a second review with a Certified Thermographic Technician.

Pricing & Referral Credits

While insurance does not currently cover thermography (nor many cutting edge modalities), there are a variety of ways to save on thermography costs.

  • Check out ubcf.org (United Breast Cancer Foundation) they have a pay it  forward program. You donate $5, fill out a quick application and then they will let you know if they will cover a portion of your breast Thermography scan. The breasts are done in all the scans that we offer. They may cover up to $150 based on your application. Please read all instructions carefully as they are very strict about their process to reimburse you once you are approved for funding. If the website says that they are out of room for applications, check back with them at the beginning of the following month. Here’s the direct link:http://ubcf.org/your-health/breast-screening/ 
  • Aflac has a Wellness program where they reimburse a portion of your Thermography. Our Aflac representative is Kathy Wheeler (405) 250-2951. You can call or text her for more information. Or download her Card Tapp app here http://kathywheeler.cardtapp.me/a0a7em
  • At Absolute Wellness Center we also have a patient referral program. You will receive $50 off your screening or your next screening (depending on when the referral books). There is no limit to the number of $50 credits you can receive. There have been several patients receive their scans for free with this referral program! Spread the word and save lives. Make sure they mention your name when they call to book.
  • There is also a prepayment plan option. Email us here for details.  With a $50 deposit and as low as $125 a month, you can have a full body scan paid off in only 4 months.
  • Use your HSA or FSA debit card accounts to pay for thermography, including the deposit. 
  • Check out Libertyhealthshare.org. Some of our patients are members and they get their thermography 100% reimbursed! They are not the only health share company out there. Search for more options to compare. This company meets the tax requirements to substitute for your health care.

Additional FAQs

  • Do I need a referral from a doctor to get an appointments? No. You may book an appointment directly with one of our centers.
  • How long does a scan take to perform? Approximately 20-30 minutes. Plan on being at our center for 45 minutes. 1 hour for a full body.
  • How long does it take to get the results? We pride ourselves with prompt turnaround. In most cases, our Board Certified Thermographers will have the results back to your center in 1 week or less. We have 3 interpreters viewing your images for optimal reporting.
  • Is Thermography covered by insurance? Not at this time. Keep in mind, cutting edge technology is not covered in most fields of medicine. Our centers charge a nominal fee for this technology despite the high cost of the equipment and the cost of running a center. Insurance coverage should not keep you away.
  • How much do Thermograms cost? $250 for breast scan, $350 for trunk and $550 for full body scan
  • What do I do if a Thermogram is positive? Take appropriate action and be sure to follow-up as recommended by our doctors and yours. Many times we are able to pick up cancerous changes before other standard tests, which provides the ability to act swiftly and appropriately. For example, thyroid heat may be found long before a blood test will show signs of thyroid dysfunction.
  • Should I get a full body scan? About 90% of our patients nationwide have a full body or profile done at the time of exam. We have a 97% patient satisfaction rate based on recent surveys. The information not only shows areas of dysfunction, but may show if your personal wellness plan is working.
  • What do I do if my Medical Doctor discredits the results? Please help educate your doctor. Even the “best doctors” think inside their guidelines and frequently reject new ideas and technology. Chances are they are misinformed, or not informed at all. Message me for research you can share with them.
  • How often will I need a thermogram? Your initial scan will dictate what follow-up is necessary. With no suspicious findings, most follow-up recommendations will be 12 months. Scans that warrant monitoring typically will be 3-6 months. If you are using thermography to monitor your overall health then it is a good idea to be tested quarterly until your health is stable. Annual wellness checks are recommended.
  • Are there many false positives with thermal imaging? The purpose of the thermographic evaluation is to show areas of hot and cold in the body. Thermographic imaging is greater than 99% accurate for this purpose. Therefore we can say there are no false positives with thermal imaging. Heat is generally present due to a pathological process or injury.

Resources: www.flowwell.org