An excerpt from Dr. Christiane Northrup M.D. monthly newsletter:
Dear Inner Circle Friends,
Fear of breast cancer is many women’s number one fear. Mammograms have long been considered the gold standard for detecting breast cancer. But, in November 2009, the United States Preventive Services Task Force reversed its long-standing advice and released new guidelines recommending that most women start regular breast cancer screening at age 50, instead of 40, as previously suggested, and that they be screened every two years, not annually.
The task force concluded that the risks associated with mammograms for women in their 40s (including a 60 percent greater chance of getting a false-positive result thanks to denser breast tissue, even though they are less likely to have breast cancer) outweigh the benefits. In addition, the guidelines did not recommend routine screening for women older than 74 because the risks and benefits remain unknown. These new guidelines did not apply to women at high risk for breast cancer.
For me, the biggest concern about mammography is that it doesn’t appear to reduce mortality from breast cancer any better than a simple breast exam (which also doesn’t decrease mortality). And, almost all cancer screening modalities identify the slow-growing lesions that women would die “with,” not “from.” In other words, they would never become life-threatening if left alone. The one exception is thermography.
6 Reasons Why I Recommend Breast Thermography
In addition to early detection and accurate test results, here are some other reasons I like thermography:
- 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.
- Detect cell changes in arm pit area. The arm pit area is an area that mammography isn’t always good at screening.
- Great additional test. Thermography can be used as an additional test to help women and their care teams make more informed treatment decisions.
- It Doesn’t Hurt. The pressure of a mammogram machine is equivalent to putting a 50-pound weight on your breast, which can be quite painful for most women.
- 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). It’s ironic that the test women are using for prevention may be causing the very problem they’re trying to avoid in the first place! And this doesn’t even touch on the harm done to the body from unnecessary biopsies, lumpectomies, mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and so forth.
- Thermography is very safe. Thermography is even safe for pregnant and nursing women! It’s merely an image of the heat of your body.
Thermography is a better technology for all of the reasons I’ve already described. Plus, it gives results that are unique to you, time after time. But Dr. Getson says there are some things you need to know. For one, not all thermographic equipment is the same. When you are choosing a thermography center, be sure to ask what the “drift factor” is for their machines. Anything over 0.2 degrees centigrade leads to poor reproducibility. Also, the room in which the study is performed should be free of outside light and the temperature should always be at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, with a proper cooling system in place.
Be sure that your thermography center of choice is backed by qualified, board-certified physicians who are specifically trained in the interpretation of these images. And, be sure that the physician is available to explain and discuss all findings. Finally, make sure the images are “stat”-ed or marked up for future comparison.
Infrared Thermal Imaging
Medical Infrared Thermal Imaging is a major break-through in preventive medicine. It is the perfect blend between the preventive well-care philosophy of eastern medicine and the highly technical innovations of today’s world.Certified by the FDA in 1985, thermography is accepted as a safe, non-invasive investigational and diagnostic tool that can help identify the earliest signs of breast and cardiovascular disease before they have done their damage.We have an unprecedented opportunity to eliminate these diseases through the power of prevention for those who seek our help.For breast screening, thermography is not a stand-alone diagnostic device and does not replace the mammogram. Thermography is actually able to recognize changes in the breast while the tumor is still in the microscopic stages, as many as 8-10 years before clinical detection with mammography or ultrasound.Medical Thermal Imaging uses no radiation, but takes infra-red pictures of otherwise invisible changes in the body, using a highly specialized digital infrared thermal imaging camera. For breast imaging we take images of the chest, lateral views under each arm and each breast individually for a complete view for analysis. By focusing on the physiology of the breast, the interpreting MD is able to determine what activity, if any, is developing in the breast tissue.The patient receives a written report with analysis and opinions within a week, from an MD who has been specifically trained to interpret the thermal images. We also review the report of findings with the patient to assure complete understanding of the results.Thermography can see physiological changes throughout the body. Discover how prevention is the ultimate problem solver, and how thermography makes it possible.Mission Statement: Three Rivers Thermography strives to provide cost effective, optimal thermographic images and physicians report in a comfortable, professional setting.
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