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Thermography vs. Mammography

My plan is to share what I changed with my lifestyle and what I continue to learn as I grow in wellness. Although I immediately changed my diet after diagnosis I’m going to discuss thermography right away as it’s something I REALLY wish I’d known more about well before I started feeling something might be wrong (18 months prior to diagnosis).

Thermography is a painless, noninvasive, state of the art clinical test without any exposure to radiation and is used as part of an early detection program which gives women of all ages the opportunity to increase their chances of detecting breast disease at an early stage. It is particularly useful for women under 50 where mammography is less effective. This is because most younger women have dense breasts. These dense breasts make it difficult for mammography to obtain clear scans. This is also why my mammogram from October 2013 came back clear. My breasts were too dense to really see what was happening in my breasts even though cancer was already forming at that time.

Canadian researchers recently found that infrared imaging of breast cancers could detect minute temperature variations related to blood flow and demonstrate abnormal patterns associated with the progression of tumors. These images or thermograms of the breast were positive for 83% of breast cancers compared to 61% for clinical breast examination alone and 84% for mammography.

Thermographers look for heat within the breast which signifies energy. It takes long periods of time (sometimes years) for tumors to grow and establish vascular networks. These vascular networks supply the tumors with oxygen and blood…they keep them alive and allow them to grow. Thermography scans can detect this heat from it’s earliest stages providing women and their doctors with an opportunity to evaluate and mitigate any cancerous activity before any tumors begin to develop.

If tumors are found these images can be evaluated by doctors and mammogram scans with high levels of radiation can be avoided.

Why is this important? Because exposure to radiation actually CAUSES cancer. Ionizing radiation used in mammography has sufficient energy to cause chemical changes in cells and damage them. Some cells may die or become abnormal, either temporarily or permanently. By damaging the genetic material (DNA) contained in the body’s cells, radiation can cause cancer. Fortunately, most of our bodies are extremely efficient at repairing cell damage. The extent of the damage to the cells depends upon the amount and duration of the exposure, as well as the organs exposed.

I will go more into this in future posts but AFTER diagnosis I discovered I have a genetic mutation called PALB2. This mutation is closely related to the most common mutations associated with breast cancer – BRCA1 & BRCA2 and prevents me from being able to effectively repair any cell damage and remove toxins from my body. Radiation is a toxin and the toxic effects of mammogram radiation are finally being acknowledged as a significant factor in the development of breast cancer. Several recent studies have clearly shown that breast cancer screenings may be causing women more harm than good.

Mammograms use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which can contribute to the mutations that can lead to breast cancer. You can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s top cancer experts, has stated:

“The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening.”

A study published in the British Medical Journal (December 2011) confirmed that breast cancer screening may cause women harm, especially during the early years after they start screening. This harm is largely due to surgeries, such as lumpectomies and mastectomies, and other (often unnecessary) interventions. The study highlights losses in quality of life from false positive results and unnecessary treatment.What this suggests, and what Dr. H. Gilbert Welch wrote in an accompanying editorial, is that mammograms may have only reduced the cancer death rate by 2 percent — an amount so small it may as well be zero.

I had my first Thermogram in the 2015 and continue to get re-checked every six months. My experience at Integrative Wellness in Roseville, CA has been in stark contrast to the extreme discomfort I felt during mammograms. The Thermography Technician, Shelley, is professional, kind, very knowledgeable and quick! The images are taken after approximately 10 minutes spent topless in a cold very private room. The images themselves take another 5 minutes and that’s it. So easy and worth every penny with an average low cost of $200. Images are then analyzed by a Certified Clinical Thermographer. Very detailed results are typically available within 10-14 days.

Please consider thermography before you schedule your first or any future mammograms. Had I known about thermography in October 2013 I could have avoided the dangerous levels of toxic radiation I was exposed to which inevitably exacerbated my condition. I would’ve had an opportunity to stop or even reverse any abnormalities before tumors were able to begin forming.

For more information on Thermography

EPA info on Ionized Radiation

To find a licensed Thermographer in your area

In the Sacramento, CA area

Thermography (Infrared digital images – no harmful radiation) – Integrative Wellness Center in Roseville, CA: ***Shelley is wonderful…tell her I sent you. She’ll offer you a 10% ($20) discount.