Common Questions

Thermography Questions and Answers

What is thermography?

Digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) is another identification for thermography.  It consists of a series of pictures taken by digital camera- without  pressure,  touch or radiation.  Pictures may be taken of most areas of the body for interpretation by a group of 37 medical doctors in the electronic medical imagining system.  BRAS specializes in breast thermogaphy and education of breast health, but we do take other thermograms as requested. See list of other indications for a thermographic evaluation below.

What is the cost?

The cost varies by location. Please contact your location to get their prices.

What is the difference between mammography and thermography?

According to Dr. Thomas Hudson, “Thermography can detect physiological changes associated with breast cancer while it’s still at the cellular level – before it becomes visible on a mammogram.” This thermal imaging system is also safe, painless and radiation-free.

Thermography is also a great tool to monitor breast health because it gives indications of problems before there is a diagnosed cancer that can be changed and monitored. Examples include estrogen dominance, lymphatic congestion, and even allergies that cause inflammation. BRAS strives to talk about these ideas out during an initial screening and give women easy cost-effective, drug-free ways to make breast health changes.

Mammograms show structure using compression and radiation. A mammogram is considered the “gold standard” by the medical community. It is excellent to pinpoint a mass and is always required before surgery. A tissue biopsy is then needed to make sure a lump is not cancerous.

The latest advice from the U.S. Preventative Task Force in November 2009 is that a mammogram is “a very private decision between a woman and her doctor.” The task force suggested screenings every two years after the age of 50.

Can mammography replace thermography?

The easy answer is no, but it is more complex than that. Both systems serve a different purpose. Using thermography and mammography together can decrease breast cancer risks. Thermography is better used for prevention and protecting breast health in many ways. Mammography is used to diagnose a specific problem.

Why do I need two breast thermograms three months apart?

Cancer cells double every ninety days, so the second thermogram series provides a baseline. The United Breast Cancer Foundation may reimburse up to $300 for two thermograms three months apart.  Follow their lead, do not have one thermogram and base your breast health on half of the equation.

How do I apply for reimbursement through the United Breast Cancer Foundation?

Click on the thermogram picture on their website at  An online application will come up to fill out.  Many applicants have reported getting a reply within 2 days.  Follow their instructions to send the bill in for reimbursement.  BRAS will provide you with the correct paid receipt to send them.

Check this idea if you have insurance that will not pay.  They have been able to reimburse sometimes.

What can I expect with my Initial Breast Thermogram appointment?

Our specialty is breast health.  We spend 30 extra minutes with you sharing information you will never hear from other thermographers, woman to woman, about simple, low-cost, effective, natural, drug-free ideas on protecting your breast health.  You are not going to a thermographer who is trained to snap pictures as quickly possible. Breast Research Awareness & Support is an educational support program for you.

Will my insurance pay for thermograms?

Sadly, at this point, not very many companies are paying for thermograms. Health Savings Accounts, cafeteria plans and wellness plans normally pay for thermograms.

Why are some breast thermograms graded with TH1-TH5 designations?

These designations were used in the 1990’s.  They were officially dropped.

Why are some thermograms black and white?

Again, this is an earlier interpretation service.  The black and white pictures are simply a setting or function of the camera.  The same picture can be black and white or color.  The color is important as the medical interpretation service is using the temperature variances for visibly seeing hotter spots in the body.  A service only using black and white would not be using the full ability of the thermal cameras and their heat seeking concept.  Think bombs to busts! Our new technologies came from the smart bombs and their thermal capabilities used extensively during the last two war conflicts.

Are there any special preparations before the test?

Do not smoke for two hours before the tests.

Do not use lotions or powder on your breasts or surrounding areas on the day of the test.

Avoid vigorous exercise three hours before the test.

Avoid sun exposure on the day of test.

BRAS specifically asks that you do not shave under your arms the day of the test.

No diet changes are necessary.

No medicine changes are necessary.

How long does it take to get my report back?

The time before results are reported to the doctor or patient varies from a few hours to a few days.  Reports can be emailed quicker to you.  Then two official copies and complete pictures will be mailed to you to share with a health practitioner of your choice

At your request, the report can be rushed for an extra fee. Linda Bamber, president of BRAS, turned in a breast thermogram report at 6:00 pm on Good Friday. The report was back around 9:00 pm. It was a great relief to the woman requesting the rushed service. After a mammogram found something suspicious, she was told to think over Easter weekend about having a biopsy. Instead, within a couple of hours, she had a second opinion and could relax and did not have to make a rushed decision.

What kind of equipment does BRAS use?

All BRAS business locations use Meditherm, a medical camera designed specifically for clinical applications. Meditherm maximizes the potential of thermography for the best possible diagnosis and treatment by delivering a higher degree of sensitivity and specificity than other systems.

  • Only thermography system specifically designed and calibrated for optimal operation in the narrow temperature range of metabolic heat.
  • Meditherm has the largest network of doctors and technicians worldwide and is the industry leader with the oldest established infrastructure covering manufacture, marketing, training and after sales support.
  • Has the quickest turnaround of reports.
  • Has the most accurate reading because each pixel is an individually referenced measurement which can be compared to any other pixel within an image and also image to image, and comparisons over time.
  • Efficient thermoelectric cooling of the cameras and auto correction with unique agile processing technology of the BRAS cameras eliminates the problems of thermal drift suffered by other cameras.
  • Can focus on regions of interest from 2 inches to infinity, while detecting 100% of the body’s emitted infrared radiation.
  • Permits less critical protocols in clinics without sacrificing accuracy and reliability.

What are other indications for a thermographic evaluation?
In alphabetic order

  • Altered Ambulatory Kinetics
  • Altered Biokinetics
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Biomechanical Impropriety
  • Breast Disease
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Causalgia
  • Compartment Syndromes
  • Cord Pain/Injury
  • Deep Vascular Disease
  • Disc Disease
  • Disc Syndromes
  • Dystrophy
  • External Carotid Insufficiency
  • Facet Syndromes
  • Grafts
  • Hysteria
  • Headache Evaluation
  • Herniated Disc
  • Herniated Nucleus Pulposis
  • Hyperaesthesia
  • Hyperextension Injury
  • Hyperflexion Injury
  • Inflammatory Disease
  • Internal Carotid Insufficiency
  • Infectious Disease (Shingles, Leprosy)
  • Lumbosacral Plexus Injury
  • Ligament Tear
  • Lower Motor Neuron Disease
  • Lupus
  • Malingering
  • Median Nerve Neuropathy
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Myofascial Irritation
  • Muscle Tear
  • Musculoligamentous Spasm
  • Nerve Entrapment
  • Nerve Impingement
  • Nerve Pressure
  • Nerve Root Irritation
  • Nerve Stretch Injury
  • Nerve Trauma
  • Neuropathy
  • Neurovascular Compression
  • Neuralgia
  • Neuritis
  • Neuropraxia
  • Neoplasia
  • (melanoma, squamous cell, basal)
  • Nutritional Disease (Alcoholism,Diabetes)
  • Peripheral Nerve Injury
  • Peripheral Axon Disease
  • Raynaud’s
  • Referred Pain Syndrome
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Ruptured Disc
  • Somatization disorders
  • Soft Tissue Injury
  • Sprain/Strain
  • Stroke Screening
  • Synovitis
  • Sensory Loss
  • Sensory Nerve Abnormality
  • Somatic Abnormality
  • Superficial Vascular Disease
  • Skin Abnormalities
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Temporal Arteritis
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Trigger Points
  • TMJ Dysfunction
  • Tendonitis
  • Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
  • Whiplash

*Note: Thermography is not a replacement for Mammography. We recommend a balanced health approach that includes both prevention and traditional medical approaches.