Using Thermography to Evaluate Breast Health
by Ellen Sue Spicer-JacobsonSeeking to promote breast health while minimizing radiation and discomfort for women, family physician Andrew Lipton, owner of Narberth Family Medicine, added thermography to his already unique family practice in April 2011. “It was actually my wife’s influence. She told me she thought it was crazy to use yearly radiation on the breast when it is one of the contributors to developing cancer. We discovered thermography and felt it was a necessary addition to our practice,” says Lipton.
Thermography, also known as digital infrared thermal imaging or thermal imaging, can be used as an aid for both detection and evaluation of such conditions as breast disease, artery inflammation, deep vein thrombosis, headaches, skin cancer, vascular disease and other conditions. Patients like that it is relatively affordable, non-invasive, painless and free from radiation and body contact.
Typically, women over the age of 40 receive a yearly mammogram to regulate breast health. The process is often described as uncomfortable or painful compression of the breasts, and exposes patients to radiation. Mammograms can also be problematic for men, women with dense breasts and those that have had implants or otherwise altered their breasts. In contrast, thermography is painless, radiation-free and is suited for use in men, women of all ages and stages, even nursing mothers.
Thermography indicates areas of inflammation as well as normal areas in the breast, enabling the physician to detect the physiological changes that accompany breast pathologies such as infection, vascular disease, fibrocystic disease or cancer. The process takes about 20 minutes and requires that the patient disrobes from the waist up. Lipton’s trained female technicians strive to ensure that the patient is comfortable while they take digital pictures of women’s breasts, or a full body scan, if indicated, with a small, specially designed camera.
For Lipton and his wife, adding thermal imaging to Narberth Family Medicine was a no-brainer. The practice also offers acupuncture, massage therapy, chelation therapy and several other complementary and alternative medical treatments.
Dr. Lipton's practice is located at 822 Montgomery Ave., Ste. 315, Narberth. For more information, call 610-667-4601 or visit DrAndrewLipton.com.
Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson is a freelance writer in the field of food and health. Connect with her at Menupause.info. April 2014.