Thermogrphy for Breast Cancer Detection

By Louise McCoy
Louise McCoy
Louise McCoy
September 18, 2011 Updated: September 21, 2011

Recently and in the past, The Epoch Times has published articles calling the benefits of mammography into question. When you put “mammography” into search under the Epoch Times health section, and several articles would come up with the same theme, but when you put in “thermography” nothing came up—until now. There is an alternative, and it is called thermography.

This procedure uses a very expensive infrared camera that measures patterns of body heat. The camera is connected with a sophisticated computer that shows high-resolution digital images. The pictures come out in gorgeous rainbow colors representing various degrees that indicate normal tissue, inflammation, low circulation, or other conditions.

Suzanne Pyle, a thermographer practicing in doctors’ offices and clinics in Upper Westchester County and Connecticut ( explained that the colors that show patterns of hotter and cooler areas in the breast can indicate areas of increased blood-vessel formation. This often indicates a cancer forming, sometimes years before a lump visible by mammogram is formed or felt by examination.

If the subject is highly estrogenic or has some other cancer-causing environmental issue, supplements, diet, or lifestyle changes can bring a series of abnormal thermographs back to normal.

Many women enjoy the comfort of digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI). It takes place in a climate-controlled room—no shivering or sweating is allowed. For breast examination, the subject is bare from the waist up, but no body contact is necessary.

Some of the advantages are the absence of radiation and breast clamping—especially difficult if one has small, hard-to-clamp breasts—and a comparatively short time for the procedure. DITI is even safe for pregnant and nursing women.

Those under 40 who have breasts of higher density show abnormalities better by DITI than mammography. Fibrocystic disease, implants, and scar tissue do not set off alarms as they do in mammograms.

Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests, “Cancer prevention should start as early as possible.” An early start gives a “thermal signature” to which later thermograms can be compared for changes.

What follows is a bit of history showing some of the studies and the fact that DITI is available internationally but is probably underused in the United States.

In Leipzig, in 1871, C. A. Wunderlich wrote “On the Temperature in Disease: A Manual of Medical Thermometry.” Czerny presented the first infrared photo in Germany in 1928.

In 1974, a study of 4,621 asymptomatic women detected 24 cancers, using both mammography and thermography with a sensitivity of 98 percent for those under 35 and 93 percent for those 36 and above, reported in Cancer, Volume 33.

In 1980, Michel Gautherie, Ph.D., and C. Gros reported following 1,527 women screened with thermography for 12 years in “Breast Thermography and Cancer Risk Prediction.” Cancer, Vol. 45. All of them had healthy breasts but had abnormal images.

Forty percent of them developed malignancies within five years, leading to the conclusion that “an abnormal thermogram is the single most important marker of high risk for the future development of breast cancer.”

In 1982, a 10-year study reported on 61,000 women using thermography. Researchers H. Spitalier and D. Giruaud found a false negative and false positive rate of 11 percent. Ninety-one percent of non-palpable cancers were detected thermograhically.

Sixty percent of the cancers were first detected by thermograph, leading to the following conclusion: “In patients having no clinical or radiographic suspicion of malignancy, a persistent abnormal breast thermogram represents the highest-known risk factor for the future development of breast cancer.” Biomedical Thermology pp. 269–278.

In 1982, the FDA approved thermography as a diagnostic tool.

In 1986, Medicare stopped paying for thermography. Dr. Cockburn, a thermographer, and Mr. Yannacome, an attorney, decided thermography had a negative connotation, so they changed the name to Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or DITI, according to Medical Infrared (

Thermography can also monitor sites of injury, pain, or problems after surgery, but it is only an adjunct to diagnosis. A series of thermograms can show the progress of healing. Usually a trained thermographer takes the images, which are then sent to specially trained medical doctors for interpretation.

Louise McCoy