Frequently Asked Questions
Is thermography safe?
Thermography is a totally non-invasive, painless imaging procedure. It is as safe as having your picture taken. There is no radiation and no breast compression. There is no contact between the thermal camera and your body. There is no contraindication to thermography. It is completely risk-free.
Who can benefit from thermography?
One of the most common uses of thermography is breast screening. Breast thermography is beneficial for all women, but particularly so in women below the age of 50, or women with dense or fibrocystic breasts where the sensitivity of mammography is compromised. Breast thermography is especially useful, and highly recommended, for women who choose not to have screening mammograms. Thermography is also an excellent whole-body screening tool, often detecting unsuspected dental inflammation, immune dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, vascular disease, hormone imbalances and systemic inflammation. All individuals with unexplained pain may benefit from thermography.
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
No. Though many patients are referred by a physician or other health-care provider, Greenpoint Thermography also accepts self-referred patients.
Why do I need a three month follow-up thermogram following my initial breast screening?
Before it can be determined that any changes are taking place in the breasts, an accurate and stable baseline must be established. In other words, we need to know what is normal for you. The thermal patterns in the breast are unique for every individual. This pattern, referred to as a “thermal fingerprint,” is remarkably stable, and under normal circumstances will only be altered by developing pathology. A baseline cannot be established with only one study, as there is no way of knowing if this is a woman’s normal pattern or if changes are actually occurring at the time of the initial study. By comparing two studies three months apart it can be determined that a woman’s breast physiology is stable and therefore suitable to be used as a normal baseline for subsequent annual comparative studies. There is no substitute for establishing an accurate baseline.
Do I still need a mammogram?
Thermography is not a substitute for mammography. It is FDA approved as an adjunct to mammography, not as a stand-alone test. Thermography is a measure of breast physiology, while mammography is a picture of breast anatomy. When it comes to breast screening, there is no single test that will detect all cancers. Cancer detection rates are as high as 98%, however, in women who take advantage of both thermography and mammography, which is why Greenpoint Thermography believes that an integrative approach is best.
Which one is better–a mammogram or a thermogram?
That’s what everyone wants to know. It’s a perfectly logical question, but it’s the wrong question. Both tests can produce images of the breasts, and both offer the possibility of early breast cancer detection. But other than that, they have nothing in common. They are different tests, produced in different ways, showing completely different things. Mammography can show you if you have a cancer or not, but other than that it has little purpose; thermography offers you the chance to become aware of worrisome physiological changes before there is a diagnosable cancer—which is when risk-reduction strategies such as diet, exercise, and stress reduction are most effective.
Mammography involves radiation and breast compression; thermography requires neither. Mammography shows anatomy (structure); thermography is a physiological test only. Mammography can detect cancers very early, as small as a few millimeters; thermography cannot “see” a cancer but instead measures subtle temperature changes in the skin associated with underlying pathology. Thermography can detect physiologic changes associated with a cancer while it is still at a cellular level—before it becomes visible on a mammogram.
Thermography has other unique abilities as well. It can indicate estrogen dominance, an imbalance in estrogen levels associated with higher breast cancer risk. It can detect lymphatic congestion, also a precursor to disease. The effects of diet are also clearly seen. Women on a typical Western diet who switch to a healthier, plant-based diet show remarkable improvement in their thermal patterns. In short, thermography is a way to monitor breast health, not just a way to detect breast disease.
Thermography does not replace mammography. It is FDA approved as an adjunct to mammography. It adds a much needed piece to the early detection puzzle, providing risk information and possible early warning that mammography cannot.
What is cold stressing?
Cold stressing is a test to measure function of the sympathetic nervous system. It is particularly useful in the evaluation of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Protocols used by Greenpoint Thermography do not require routine cold stressing, but it may be specifically requested by a referring physician for indications other than breast imaging.
Who certifies your thermographers?
Thermographers (the technicians performing the exam) are trained and certified by the American College of Clinical Thermology.
Who interprets the images?
Studies performed by Greenpoint Thermography will generally be interpreted by either Dr. Bartone or Dr. Hudson, board certified radiologists with extensive experience in both general diagnostic and breast imaging. They have been trained and certified to interpret thermograms by the American College of Clinical Thermography. In rare instances, a study may be interpreted by one of the certified thermologists, all medical doctors, on the staff of Electronic Medical Interpretation (EMI).
How much does the procedure cost?
Greenpoint’s thermography services range in price from $150.00 for a single breast exam or single region of interest (ROI) to $450.00 for a whole body exam. Some discounted packages are available. Please see the Services section of this website for additional information.
Is this procedure covered by insurance?
At this point in time, thermography is usually not covered by health insurance. Insurance coverage is expected to expand, however, as the controversies and uncertainties over screening mammography continue to grow. Coverage varies by carrier and plan, so please check with your individual carrier to see what coverage, if any, is available. It is the patient’s responsibility to file a claim for reimbursement. Greenpoint Thermography will gladly provide appropriate ICD9 and CPT codes.
What forms of payment do you accept?
It is our policy to receive payment at the time of service. We accept cash, personal checks, and credit cards.
What is your refund policy?
For unused portions of prepaid packages a refund will be made within 30 days of receipt of a written request. Refund will be in an amount equal to payment received minus services rendered at the undiscounted rate.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you are unable to keep your appointment, we ask that you notify our office at least 24 hours in advance. We would like to have the option of offering your appointment to others who may not have been able to schedule an appointment due to lack of availability. Please notify us at least one full business day before your scheduled appointment or a $50 cancellation fee will be billed to your account.