Since mammography became widely available in the early 1970s, physicians have mandated that women need annual mammograms in order to detect breast cancer at a much earlier stage, thereby allowing for more effective treatment and life-saving intervention. If you are like millions of other women, you have come to depend on this gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer.
However, over the years, a number of negative studies have cast doubt as to the true benefits of mammography in comparison to its many risks. Mammography has many flaws, including painful compression of the breasts, a high rate of false positive and false negative test results, and even increased risk of developing the very cancer you are trying to avoid.
Fortunately, an alternative method exists to help detect changes in a womans breaststhermography. Thermography uses a heat-imaging screening technique that does not use radiation or breast compression to detect tumors.
I had thermography done a year or so ago. With this procedure, you undress down to your waist in a room that is keep at a fairly cool temperature. A qualified technician then uses a high-resolution camera to read the temperature of your body. The camera then converts it into an infrared heat image, records the images, and sends them to a computer where they are stored until a physician can perform a detailed exam to detect the exact differences in temperature that indicate whether or not cancer may be present.
It is very cool! Best of all, they can position you at the ideal angle for your particular breast contour to be examined simply by asking you to turn this way or that. This is very important, as the infrared map of each womans breast is as unique as her fingerprint.
Any change in this map over the course of months and years can signal an early indication of possible tumors or other abnormalities. In fact, studies have shown that an abnormal infrared image is the single most important indicator of high risk for developing breast cancer. Similarly, it has been found that a woman can increase her survival rate from breast cancer by 61 percent simply by including thermography as a part of her regular breast health checkups.
While thermography is still not as widely used and available as mammography, it is becoming more prevalent. Your best bet is to check with a complementary physician, osteopath, chiropractor, or naturopathic doctor in your area and ask them if there is anyone they recommend.
Once you locate a physician and facility, be sure to ask who will be reading your exam and what qualifications they have. Youll also want to ensure this doctor regularly tests, or at least participates in the quality control of the facility and equipment.
Final thought: The doctor I saw, Dr. Bruce Rind in Washington, DC, had the best comparison Ive ever heard regarding thermography versus mammography. He said that thermography is like looking into the future, while mammography is like looking in a rearview mirror. In other words, mammography tells you what HAS happened while thermography tells you what MAY happen. Which would you rather have?