PRLog (Press Release) – Dec 24, 2007
Most women dread annual mammograms and are dismayed at the discomfort of having their breasts flattened so that they may be properly imaged. What most of these women do not know is that x-ray irradiation is not the only option for breast cancer screening. Thermography is a painless and superior alternative to mammography for those women seeking effective preventative breast screening.
In use since the mid-70s, thermography is a functional screening test that measures heat radiating from the body. Because the imaging technique requires no direct contact with the breast, it is never painful and there is no risk of rupturing breast implants. Unlike mammography, ultrasound, and MRI which measure structural changes, thermography picks up areas of greater heat generated by cancer cells, inflammation, and infection. Thermography detects temperature differences that can occur when cancers have grown to 200-300 cells in size, while mammography detects cancers only once they reach a size of several million cells.
Breast thermography is not considered a replacement for mammograms or other diagnostic tools which certainly play a role in tumor detection, but is a valuable and underused tool in the detection of breast cancer. Research has shown thermography to be 97% sensitive in finding abnormalities in breast tissue, including the earliest stages of breast cancer. In contrast, mammography is reported to miss 50% of tumors in dense breast tissue, 30% of tumors in fibrocystic breasts, and 10-15% of tumors in fatty (normal) breasts.
Thermography’s imaging capabilities allows physicians to spot changes in breast tissue much earlier than ever before, and provides additional information to assist in cancer prevention. Although mammography is not advised in women under the age of 30 unless they have a family history of breast cancer, thermography is completely safe at any age and can be started early to set a baseline to track minute changes as they occur.
Amy Terlisner, NMD, who specializes in women’s health at ALETRIS Center of Integrative Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona reports, “Many of my patients simply refused to get mammograms once a year because they feared the potential effects of irradiation to the breast tissue. In an effort to offer these patients an effective alternative, I extensively researched available screening modalities and began using thermography to assess breast health. Not only have I received an overwhelmingly positive response from patients, but my experience with the imaging has shown me that thermography’s preventative abilities are superior to those of mammography.” When she does find a suspicious breast lesion via thermography, Dr. Terlisner is able to completely bypass the need for mammography by sending her patients for a diagnostic ultrasound or MRI.