Key Facts About Thermograms

Key Facts About Thermograms

Thermal vision tests are designed to detect fast-growing, active tumors. The tests demonstrate heat patterns that can be strongly indicative of abnormalities, including those associated with breast cancer. They can also be used to evaluate sensory-nerve irritation or significant soft-tissue injuries and to identify pain sources.

The primary way that thermal imaging works is by detecting temperature variations related to blood flow and demonstrating abnormal patterns associated with the progression of tumors. When the body is viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm areas stand out against cooler areas, and changes in patterns can be tracked over time. Because cancer cells are growing and multiplying very fast, blood flow and metabolism are higher in the areas near a growing tumor, which means skin temperature near these locations increases.

Thermography is not invasive, is low-cost, and does not require use of radiation.

These tests can be especially helpful in the intervals between other types of screenings, including mammographies (which are usually not indicated for women under 50 years old). (7) Approximately 15 percent of all breast cancers occur in women under 45, which means risk assessment in this age group is still very important. Breast cancer tends to be more aggressive when it strikes this young population of women.

Thermogram results differ from person to person, so once a “baseline” thermal image is recorded, it’s kept on file to compare against future evaluations. Some experts describe thermogram results as being like a “thermal fingerprint,” since they are unique to each person and only change if pathology (disease) develops.

Doctors track a patient’s thermal image recordings in order to ensure that their images remain consistent and stable for several years in a row, which signifies that they aren’t experiencing abnormal changes.


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