Thermography and Ultrasound Screening Lead to Hidden Health DiscoveriesMay 31, 2022 ● By Carrie Jackson
Northwest Medical Screening (formerly Northwest Healing Center) founder Erica Cody says, “Early detection is key to treating dysfunction in the body and ruling out potentially harmful conditions. Screenings such as thermography and ultrasound allow the team to see areas of dysfunction in a non-invasive, pain-free approach and give the patient peace of mind on their wellness journey.”
Cody partly credits a recent uptick in screenings to the pandemic. “We lost too many people to conditions that could have been changed if they were detected earlier, but at the time did not feel safe in a hospital environment,” she says.
Thermography and ultrasound are screening tools like mammograms, but less invasive. “Yes, mammograms have saved lives, we can never deny that. Still there are some women who have implants that don’t want to risk them getting crushed. Mammograms can provoke flare-ups for people who have fibromyalgia or other chronic pain conditions, and for many other reasons some may prefer a less invasive screening,” explains Cody. Thermography and ultrasounds are also painless and don’t emit radiation. Thermal imaging makes it possible to detect abnormal activities five to eight years before a lump can be seen by structural screening, making it a valuable tool in early cancer detection.
Thermography is an important screening used in both disease prevention and detection of dysfunction. The procedure is done in the office, lasts about 45 minutes and can be performed on the entire body or just a specific area of interest. “Thermography looks at the body’s physiology and guides the practitioner to areas that are showing dysfunction or abnormalities. By detecting subtle variations in thermal patterns, we can identify if someone is in a pre-disease state giving them awareness and the opportunity to address and make changes to better their health,” says Cody.
A breast ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to bounce off tissues in the breast to create images called sonograms, is another non-invasive way to look at breast health. “We use ultrasound imaging of the breast in conjunction with thermography to evaluate areas of concern with two different screenings. For example, ultrasounds can be used to further the diagnosis of a breast abnormality by distinguishing between solid growth and fluid-filled cysts. Ultrasound also has the advantage of producing images without the need of ionizing radiation, and is the preferred imaging technology for women who have implants or are under the age of 25,” says Cody.
Screenings are performed by certified technicians that collaborate with a team of doctors to analyze the patient’s health history, symptoms and images. “Depending on the findings, the team may recommend further screenings, blood tests, thyroid or hormonal analyses, or other follow-up procedures. The results are discussed in detail with the patient so they understand any recommendations outlined in the reports by the doctors,” says Cody.
Both screenings can be used as a baseline for people to monitor their health over time. The clinic offers a special Women’s Health Check, with half-body scans that can be done annually or whatever schedule the doctor recommends for that patient. Some people experiment with different diet and lifestyle changes to see if such actions make any difference in the screenings.
“Thermography and ultrasounds can serve as blueprints for what is going on in the body. We can monitor lumps and other unusual findings to see if they develop into something more serious over time or resolve. The sooner we can identify dysfunction, we are able to rule out other possible conditions so the patient can decide how to move on with their medical team,” says Cody.
Cody stresses that using more than one preventative technique is best, and the combination of thermography and ultrasound complement each other. However, patients should always make their own educated healthcare decisions with the guidance of a trusted team. “These screenings help detect dysfunction at the changeable state and widen the options of available treatments if caught early. It’s not selfish to make your own health a priority, and we can’t afford to lose any more sisters, mothers, aunts and grandmothers to potentially treatable conditions,” she laments.
Northwest Medical Screening is located at 22000 N. Pepper Rd., Ste. 1, in Lake Barrington. For more information, call 224-600-3216, email [email protected] or visit NWMedicalScreening.com.
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.