Thermography: FSA Eligibility
What is thermography?
Thermography is a term for infrared or heat-based imaging. It has a medical application in its potential for detecting cancer and tumors. Thermography is also known as digital infrared imaging, or DII. Thermography can detect extremely tiny changes in the temperature of skin, and these changes may be attributed to the heightened vascular activity associated with a tumor. Tumors increase blood circulation nearby due to their need for additional nutrients. They do this by holding open blood vessels, creating new blood vessels, and opening dormant blood vessels (Healthline).
Thermography can be an important and effective tool in detecting tumors and cancer. This medical procedure is one of many screening options available, and it is eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
Thermography is not recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a substitute or replacement for mammographies in screening for breast cancer and tumors. Currently, the FDA has not approved any thermography or DII device for use as a standalone breast cancer screening tool. However, the FDA has approved thermography devices as a supplement to approved standalone screening tools, including mammographies.
There are currently no other mainstream uses of thermography or DII equipment for healthcare outside of breast health and breast cancer screening. The controversial use of thermography equipment by medical doctors who have claimed its advantages surpass those of mammographies in effectively screening against breast cancer and tumors, with the added benefit of lacking any radiation exposure or compression, has drawn public warnings from the FDA on several occasions. Check with a medical doctor when verifying screening and treatment options to maintain breast health and screen for cancers and tumors.