June 10, 2004
Thermography Versus Mammography
I am deeply concerned about the use of mammography,
due to its many flaws, including painful compression of the breasts,
the high rate of false positives and negative test results, and
even the increased risk of developing the very cancer you are trying
Fortunately, thermography is nothing like mammography. Thermography
is a heat-imaging screening technique that does not use radiation
or breast compression to detect tumors. Instead, it uses a high-resolution
camera that can read the temperature of your body and
convert it into an infrared heat image that can be seen on a computer.
In this way, a physician can position a woman at the ideal angle
for her particular breast contour to be examined.
The camera then records these 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. (Healthy breast tissue usually registers
as blue, green, or yellow, while cancerous tissue will present as
red or orange.)
Is It Effective?
The infrared map of each woman’s 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.
Who Can Perform Thermography?
Any well-trained and experienced personnel medical doctors,
osteopaths, naturopaths, and chiropractors can perform thermography
if they have the correct equipment. Ideally, the physician should
be a board-certified clinical thermographer from a reputable organization.
Currently, the only recognized thermography organizations are the
American Academy of Thermology, the American Academy of Medical
Infrared Imaging, the International Academy of Clinical Thermology,
and the International Thermographic Society.
How to Get Started
Unfortunately, thermography is still not as widely used and available
as mammography. But fortunately, it is becoming more prevalent.
The first thing I would recommend is that you work with a complementary
physician, osteopath, chiropractor, or naturopathic doctor, all
of whom are more likely to know of a facility in your area that
offers this screening technique. If you don’t have one already,
you can contact their membership organizations (American College
for the Advancement of Medicine at 1-800-532-3688 and www.acam.org;
the American Osteopathic Association at 1-800-621-1773 or www.aoa-net.org;
the American Chiropractic Association at 1-800-986-4636 or www.amerchiro.org;
and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at 1-877-969-2267
to find one in your area.
If your care provider is unaware of a facility in your area, you
can contact the International Academy of Clinical Thermography online
at www.iact-org.org, or if
you do not have Internet access, you can contact the organization
at 1-650-361-8908. While this group does not have a comprehensive
list of facilities, they are a great starting point. Even if you
do not see a facility located in your area, I suggest calling someone
that is on the list. In most cases, they will be only too happy
to let you know if they know of a physician or clinic offering thermography
Finally, if that doesn’t work, you may need to consider traveling
to the facility closest to you. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that
peace of mind and good health are well worth a couple of hours on
Once you locate a physician and facility, be sure to ask who will
be reading your exam and what qualifications they have. You’ll also
want to ensure that this doctor regularly tests or at least participates
in the quality control of the facility and equipment.
Read More on Breast Health:
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
Keep it SIMPLE tip Exercise Lowers Breast Cancer
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