We are approaching October which happens to be breast cancer awareness month. Because I have been a Thermographer for 12 years, I feel responsible to teach and explain the benefits of thermography for breast health.
First let me say that no screening tool is %100 accurate.
While gathering personal information, women have reported to me multiple times that a mammogram or MRI missed their cancer. Out of hundreds of thermography scans, I am aware of 3 that were undetected.
Let me explain why.
Thermography is measuring infrared heat (or lack of) which is emitted from our cells. This represents activity or physiology. Cancer cells often recruit a blood supply to feed the pathogenesis and growth of cancer cells. This is what thermography will detect; vascular patterns that surround and feed the cancer which is called angiogenesis. Cells that are not detected through thermography have no angiogenesis. However, vascular patterns can sometimes be detected with thermography before cancer cells can be found on a mammogram.
Mammograms detect densities not activity. These are cells that have come together to form a tiny or sometimes large mass. Therefore, comparing mammograms to thermograms is not possible. It’s like comparing a stethoscope to a microscope. Both are valuable pieces of information but different.
Ultrasounds also see densities but do not detect calcifications very clearly, mammograms do. There are several different classes of calcifications that are considered “probably benign” or “suspicious.” Recent statistics show that 98% of “probably benign” calcifications are not cancer. Your health care practitioner can help guide you to choosing which screening tool is necessary for you.
Thermography is non-invasive without radiation. You are also getting different information than a mammogram or ultrasound. Lymphatic congestion is often a common thermal pattern that people have and helpful to know for breast health.
This topic is a can of worms so I’m not going to debate whether or not someone should have a mammogram. I have scanned many many women who have decided on their own to stop having mammograms. Maybe this is intuition or fear and as I said, consulting a trusted health care practitioner can help.
Call the office at (805) 898-1804 if you are interested in thermography.