Thermography is a certain category of infrared thermal imaging science. This technology has many uses and predominantly uses infrared thermographic camera technology. These special kind of cameras detect the radiation (otherwise, the temperature something emits) within an electromagnetic spectrum. The end result is an image which allows the viewer to see the levels metabolic or radiological energy emitted by the person, place or thing.
Today, Thermography is used in a variety of different modes and professions. Fire fighters use thermographic cameras to see through smoke and detect a person or a locate a base of fire. Power-lines are maintained by thermal imaging by locating joints which are over-heating. Today, notably the most predominant use of thermal technology is in Medical Thermography. Doctors have found that thermal imaging is particularly useful in finding precancerous and cancerous tissue within warm blooded animals and in humans. (1) This is based upon the precept that metabolic activity increases in potentially cancerous tissue due to the increasing need of nutrients in order to sustain and grow a cancerous tumor. The tumor itself achieves this through several different methods: by holding open existing blood cells, opening dormant vessels or creating new ones. This typically results in an increase of metabolic temperature emissions within the tissue making thermal breast imaging an effective mode of detection. Breast Thermography is perhaps the most pervasive use of thermal imaging within the detection and prevention of cancer. It utilizes several ultra-sensitive new technologies, particularly sophisticated medical infrared cameras, to discover and study high resolution images of temperature deviations within the breast. This is important particularly in the detection of precancerous tissue, as detecting the heat produced by a diminutive increase in blood vessel activity is essential to finding tissue within a precancerous state. (2) It is also important to know that a number of cancers are not detectable by more common screenings, such as mammographies and physical examinations. The recent trends in utilizing thermal imaging in order to identify cancers are based upon developing studies. Recently, some studies have shown that irregular thermal activity within an infrared image is the number one marker of a potentially deadly cancer growth, even more-so than a history of disease within family genealogy. (3) Very much like a finger print , each person has their own infrared map of their body. A deviation from this map would indicate an aberration, and would like warrant further tests and examinations in order to determine if the aberration is deadly or benign.
by Dave G, MA
Author currently holds a Masters in Biology from a highly-selective university and also teaches university level classes in health and biology.
1.) I. Ysinag, M.D. et al; Clinical Evaluation of Mammography and Medical Thermography in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancers. Thermology, 1986; 1: 170-173.
2.) M. Gauthrie, Ph.D.; Thermobiological Assessment of Benign and Malignant Breast Diseases. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 1983; V 147, No. 8: 861-869.
3.) C. Gros, M.D., M. Gautherie, Ph.D.; Breast Thermography and Cancer Risk Prediction. Cancer, 1980; V 45, No. 1: 51-56.