It was about 14 years ago that I came across thermal imaging as a means of monitoring my own breast health as I was not keen to go down the conventional path of testing.
I saw it as a regular preventative screening tool, to give me the opportunity to make adjustments to my diet, beliefs, and lifestyle to transform cells before there were major problems.
Statistics are that one out of eight women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer and one out of 3 women will experience some form of cancer in their life-time.
It is these figures that led me down the path of investing in this technology and making it available to all our clients at REVIVAL.
We are fortunate to work with a company who have a team of fully qualified trained Doctors who analyse the images and send back detailed reports and recommendations so that we can assist with improving breast health.
It is exciting to see thermal imaging continuing to grow across the world especially in Europe and America and Asia.
We are still a little behind the times here in Australia, but we just need to continue spreading the word that this technology exists and how beneficial it can be.
How Does Thermography Work?
A well known Dr, Philip Getson, D.O. has been a medical thermographer since 1982. Dr. Getson explains how thermography works:
“It is widely acknowledged that cancers, even in their earliest stages, need nutrients to maintain or accelerate their growth.
In order to facilitate this process, blood vessels are caused to remain open, inactive blood vessels are activated, and new ones are formed through a process known as neoangiogenesis.
This vascular process causes an increase in surface temperature in the affected regions, which can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras.
Additionally, the newly formed or activated blood vessels have a distinct appearance, which thermography can detect.
Remember, heat is an indication that inflammation exists, and typically inflammation is present in precancerous and cancerous cells, too.
It’s also present in torn muscles and ligaments as well as arthritic joints, which thermography can also detect!
Early Breast Cancer Detection and Accuracy
Today, women are encouraged to get a mammogram, so they can find their breast cancer as early as possible.
The most promising aspect of thermography is its ability to spot anomalies years before mammography.
Using the same ten-year study data, (Spitalier 1) researcher Dr. Getson adds:
Since thermal imaging detects changes at the cellular level, studies suggest that this test can detect activity eight to ten years before any other test.
This makes it unique in that it affords us the opportunity to view changes before the actual formation of the tumour.
Studies have shown that by the time a tumour has grown to sufficient size to be detectable by physical examination or mammography, it has in fact been growing for about seven years achieving more than twenty-five doublings of the malignant cell colony.
At 90 days there are two cells, at one year there are 16 cells, and at five years there are 1,048,576 cells—an amount that is still undetectable by a mammogram.
(At 8 years, there are almost 4 billion cells.)
Thermography’s accuracy and reliability is remarkable, too.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, a great deal of research was conducted on thermography.
In 1981, Michel Gautherie, Ph.D., and his colleagues reported on a ten-year study, which found that an abnormal thermogram was ten times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than having a history of breast cancer in your family. (Gautherie 2)
The Best Test for You
There are a variety of ways of monitoring your breast health.
No system of testing can be guaranteed to be absolutely 100% accurate, and we suggest you follow your own inner guidance of what combination of testing is best for you.
If you’ve ever had an unnecessary biopsy or been scared by a false positive result on a mammogram, you might consider getting a thermogram. You can always use it in conjunction with the mammogram to figure out your treatment options.
Thermography is very safe.
Thermography is even safe for pregnant and nursing women! It’s merely an image of the heat of your body.
Clearer Results, Fewer Additional Tests
It seems like the world was set on its ear in November 2009 when the United States Preventative Services Task Force said it recommended that women begin regular mammograms at 50 instead of 40, and that mammograms are needed only every two years instead of annually between the ages of 50 and 74.
Some women felt this was a way for the insurance companies to save money.
The Task Force concluded that the risk of additional and unnecessary testing far outweighed the benefits of annual mammograms..
Even before the U.S. Preventative Task Force’s recommendation, Danish researchers Ole Olsen and Peter Gotzsche concluded, after analyzing data from seven studies, that mammograms often led to needless treatments and were linked to a 20 percent increase in mastectomies, many of which were unnecessary. (Goetshe 3)
Dr. Getson expounded, “According to the 1998 Merck Manual, for every case of breast cancer diagnosed each year, five to ten women will undergo a painful breast biopsy.
This means that if a woman has an annual mammogram for ten years, she has a 50 percent chance of having a breast biopsy.”
FIVE MORE REASONS FOR Breast Thermography
In addition to early detection and accurate test results, here are some other reasons I like thermography:
1. Good for young, dense breasts and implants.
Younger breasts tend to be denser.
Thermography doesn’t identify fibrocystic tissue, breast implants, or scars as needing further investigation.
2. Detect cell changes in arm pit area.
The arm pit area is an area that mammography isn’t always good at screening.
3. Great additional test.
Thermography can be used as an additional test to help women and their care teams make more informed treatment decisions.
4. It Doesn’t Hurt.
5. No radiation.
Another reason the United States Preventative Services Task Force reversed its aggressive mammogram guidelines was because of the exposure to radiation.
It’s well known that excessive doses of radiation can increase your risk of cancer. (Semelka 4).
If it has been a while since you have had a thermal screening, I would highly recommend you look at booking in.
1. Spitalier et al., “Does Infrared Thermography Truly Have a Role in Present-Day Breast Cancer Management?” in M. Gautherie and E. Albert, eds., Biomedical Thermology: Proceedings of an International Symposium (New York: A. R. Liss, 1982), pp. 269–78; R. Amalric et al., “Does Infrared Thermography Truly Have a Role in Present-Day Breast Cancer Management?” Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, vol. 107 (1982), pp. 269–78. – See more at: http://www.drnorthrup.com/best-breast-cancer-screening-tests/#sthash.KUUlfcDz.dpuf
2. Gautherie and C. M. Gros, “Breast Thermography and Cancer Risk Prediction,” Cancer, vol. 45, no. 1 (January 1, 1980), pp. 51–56. – See more at: http://www.drnorthrup.com/best-breast-cancer-screening-tests/#sthash.KUUlfcDz.dpuf
3, Gotzsche, P. and Olsen, O., “Is Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography Justifiable?” The Lancet, vol. 355, no. 9198 (Jan. 8, 2000), pp. 129–34; Gotzsche, P. and Olsen, O., Cochrane Review on Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography, The Lancet, vol. 358, no. 9290 (Oct. 20, 2001), pp. 1340–42. – See more at: http://www.drnorthrup.com/best-breast-cancer-screening-tests/#sthash.KUUlfcDz.dpuf
4. Semelka, R., Imaging X-rays cause cancer: a call to action for caregivers and patients, Medscape, Feb. 13, 2006, reviewed and renewed Feb. 16, 2007. – See more at: http://www.drnorthrup.com/best-breast-cancer-screening-tests/#sthash.KUUlfcDz.dpuf
Article by Deb Chappel