Don’t Just Detect Breast Cancer When You May Be Able to Prevent it Thermography
Q. How a Thermogram Differs from a Mammogram?
Mammography is a tissue structure-based method using x-ray technology that exposes thickenings or lumps in breast tissue. Many women find the process of getting a mammogram unpleasant at best, because it involves the compression of the breasts between plates to spread them out, and the procedure exposes the patient to radiation. In fact, the technologist must walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine because the frequent exposure to radiation can be harmful, a practice which makes many wonder how much exposure the patients themselves are receiving, especially those who receive mammograms annually.
Additionally, mammography is problematic or impossible for some women, such as those who are not menopausal, have used hormone replacement therapy (HRT), have glandular or dense breasts, have fibrocystic disease, had prior biopsies, have implants, are pregnant, are lactating or have small or large breasts. Breast thermography provides a great alternative.
Thermography detects vascular changes in the breasts which are not typically picked up by mammography. It has an 88% sensitivity identifying the specific tissue changes associated with breast cancer, where mammography is only 47%-63% sensitive. Thermography does not require radiation, nor does it involve compressing the breasts. In fact, there is no contact at all between thermography equipment and your body. The camera is located several feet from you and it simply takes “pictures”. The images produced are electronic data of temperature measurements in a spectrum of colors that indicate levels of heat being emitted from the body’s surface. These thermal images are called thermograms.
Everyone agrees that early detection provides the best outcomes in improved breast cancer survival rates. With thermography, problems can be found a full five to eight years before abnormalities, such as lumps, are seen on mammograms.
It’s as Easy as Having Your Picture Taken
A thermogram takes about 20 minutes. The first step is to sit in a room for ten minutes to allow your body to adapt to the temperature of the room, enabling an accurate picture of your body’s heat. Then a technician takes a first set of digital pictures with our high-definition thermal imaging camera.
A second series of pictures is taken after you place your hands in cold water for one minute. The cold water causes your brain to direct blood flow away from peripheral blood vessels, including those in the breasts, and direct it toward the major organs. When a disease process is present in the breast, the abnormal cells prevent blood vessels in the breast from being restricted, so the warmth does not leave the breast tissue. This abnormality will show up in the thermogram.
That’s all there is to it! It’s easy, painless and effective!
Your thermograms will be interpreted by a thermologist. The internationally standardized thermology classification system defines five distinct reporting categories, ranging from TH-1 (normal) through TH-5 (severely abnormal). These numbers do not relate to the classification system used to stage breast cancer.
Not all abnormal results are indicative of breast cancer. They may also be caused by tissue inflammation, infection or hormone imbalances. We recommend using thermography repeatedly over time so that individual changes can be followed, and we can distinguish non-cancerous conditions from evolving breast cancer.
A Powerful Diagnostic Tool
Breast cancer can only be confirmed through microscopic examination of breast tissue. What thermography does is detect physiological changes in breast tissue that have been shown to correlate with cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions. Detection of inflammation through thermography is a highly effective early step in the diagnostic process. It should be combined with breast self-exams and clinical breast exams for comprehensive screening.
Take This Proactive Step in Your Breast Health!
Thermography is easy, painless and it may help identify cancer sooner than breast self examination, doctor examination or mammography. Make an appointment for a thermogram with Vital Life Health Alternatives by calling (630) 734-3454.