Thermography – A Focus on Breast Health Rather than Disease

Guest Post by Author and Cancer Survivor, Jenny Phillips

Jenny Phillips is a Registered Nutritionist, author and public speaker on all things wellness related. Her book, Eat to OUTSMART Cancer, aims to inspire people to create their own health and reduce their risk of chronic ill health.

Jenny’s website: Inspired Nutrition

As we draw to the end of the 2015 ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ month – it’s worth reflecting on the fact that breast remains the leading cancer for women, accounting for some 30% of cases. In the latest data (2011) this equates to over 50,000 diagnoses a year.

Back in 2003, I was one of those cases. Diagnosed at the age of 39, a mum to two very young kids, it felt like our world had fallen apart. The medical treatment was slick and effective, chemo and surgery, but the next mountain to climb was staying cancer free. I have spent the last twelve years researching how not to get a recurrence, which has made me something of an expert in diet, lifestyle and health.

I have learnt that cancer takes time to develop, in some instances this can be up to 10 years before it is detectable by conventional means, such as mammogram. But what if there was a way to determine the health of your breasts before it became a cancer diagnosis?

This could then enable you to be more vigilant in your diet and lifestyle. Potentially then you could reverse yourself away from a future disease state.

Breast ThermographyThis is what is offered by thermography, or breast thermal imaging. It uses a state of the art thermal imaging camera to produce an image or thermal scan. This is based on the knowledge that breast tumours have abnormal blood vessel patterns that give off more heat than the surrounding tissue. Hence thermography acts as a potential early warning of abnormal physiology, or whether the breast cells have started to behave aberrantly.

Breast thermography has been the subject of extensive research since the 1950s. There are over 1000 peer-reviewed studies in the medical literature, some of which followed patients over twelve years.

In one study of women reported to have false positive thermograms (ie: positive thermogram and negative mammogram), over one third went on to have confirmed breast cancer within five years.[i] This suggests that the thermogram is indeed an early indicator for future disease risk.

Dr. Mercola on the benefits of breast thermography:

Another study confirmed that a positive thermogram is 10 times more significant than a first order family history of the disease.[ii]

What are the benefits of thermography?

Thermography is 100% safe, radiation free, non-contact and painless.

It enables very early detection of cancer risk (up to 10 years earlier than mammography).

It is unique in its capacity to record physiological problems such as increased metabolism, inflammation and abnormal blood vessel patterns.

What is involved?

The thermal scan takes around fifteen minutes to complete. We use a cold challenge, which means the room is cool (18 degrees). Firstly we take a series of infra red images, there is then a ten minute cool down, and the images are repeated.

The cool down increases the accuracy of the scan. We use advanced software which compares right breast to left, and then warm to cool. You receive a detailed report and can opt in for a further consultation to discuss healthy breast strategies.

Where can I get a thermal scan?

Thermography is now available in Buckinghamshire at the Whitethorns Medi-clinic near Stoke Mandeville. Please call 01296 614441 or 07904 438411 to check next dates and availability.


[i] Gautherie M, Gros CM. (1980) Breast thermography and cancer risk prediction. Cancer. Jan 1;45(1):51-6.

[ii] Louis K, Walter J, Gautherie M (1982) Long-term assessment of Breast Cancer risk by thermal imaging. Biomedical Thermology. Alan R Liss Inc p279-301