Thermography is now available in Brookfield, WI!
WHAT DOES BREAST THERMOGRAPHY HAVE TO OFFER?
- The earliest breast cancer detection available. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a test that could offer women true early detection enough in advance to prevent invasive tumor growth? Breast thermography has the ability to warn women up to 10 years before any other procedure that a cancer may be forming; thus, allowing for prompt and timely treatment.
- Individualized breast cancer risk assessment. Are you personally at greater risk for breast cancer? Women with a family history are definitely at greater risk, but 75% of women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. If discovered, certain thermographic risk markers can warn a woman that she needs to be vigilant in monitoring her breast health.
- An important role in breast cancer prevention. Is estrogen causing increased activity in your breasts? The greatest single risk factor for breast cancer is lifetime exposure of the breasts to estrogen. Breast Thermography plays a significant role in prevention by warning women if they have estrogen activation of their breasts.
- Accurate screening for women under 40. Do you know that approximately 1/3 of all breast cancers occur in women under 45? Breast thermography offers women in this age group a sensitive, non-invasive (no radiation and painless) method of monitoring their breast health.
A NEW PARTNER IN EARLY BREAST CANCER PREVENTION
Since its first large scale uses in the 1980s, breast thermography has developed into an important tool in the fight against breast cancer. As a safe, comfortable and extremely sensitive procedure, thermography is used to detect both a pre-cancerous state of the breast and the earliest signs of breast cancer.
Sophisticated cameras and computer systems are used to measure heat from the surface of the breasts and produce an image that can be evaluated for abnormalities. Alterations in these images are caused when cellular changes increase blood flow, thus warming the breast. Because of thermography’s extreme sensitivity, these changes may be among the earliest signs of pre-cancerous and/or cancerous tissue formation (3,6,7,8).
WHAT MAKES BREAST THERMOGRAPHY SO UNIQUE?
- Thermography uses no radiation and poses absolutely NO health risks to the patient. Consequently, scans may be performed at any frequency necessary.
- Signs of pre-cancerous tissue, or early stage cancers that are too small to be found by physical examination and mammography, can be discovered with thermography.
- Certain types of cancers will not be detected on a mammogram for various reasons (1), but many of such cancers will be discovered with thermography (3, 6, 7, 8).
- Difficulties in reading mammograms can occur in women who are on hormone replacement, nursing or have fibrocystic, large dense, or enhanced breasts (6, 8). These types of breast differences do not cause difficulties in reading thermograms.
- Since thermography does not involve contact with the skin, the procedure is quite comfortable.
- Studies show that an abnormal thermogram is the single most important marker of high risk for developing breast cancer, 10 times more significant than a family history of the disease (5).
Therefore, in the absence of other positive tests, an abnormal thermogram gives a woman an early warning that a pathological process may be occurring. By maintaining close monitoring of her breast health with serial thermography, self-breast exams, clinical examinations and other tests, a woman has a much better chance of detecting cancer at its earliest stage and preventing invasive tumor growth.
BREAST THERMOGRAPHY GUIDELINES
- Baseline thermogram at age 20
- 20-30 years of age–every three years
- 30 years of age and over–every year
Statistics indicate that 23% of all breast cancers occur under the age of 49 years. (1). Consequently, these guidelines include careful breast monitoring during these years. With the addition of thermography, interval cancers (cancers that show up between mammograms) may also be detected much sooner.
EARLY DETECTION MEANS LIFE
Breast cancer is the most common cancer of women, and the risk increases with age (1). Risk is also higher in women whose close relatives have had the disease. Women without children, and those that have had their first child after age 30, also seem to be at higher risk. However, every woman is at risk of developing breast cancer. Current research indicates that 1 in every 8 women in the U.S. will get breast cancer in their lifetime (1).
It has been determined that no one method of examination alone will serve all the needs in early breast cancer detection (1,2,6). Thermography’s role is in addition to mammography, not in lieu of. Thermography does not replace mammography and mammography does not replace thermography, the tests compliment each other. It is thermography’s unique ability to see the abnormal heat changes produced by diseased breast tissue that allows for extremely early detection (3,6,7,8).
Since it has been determined that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, we must use every means possible to detect cancers when there is the greatest chance for survival. Proper use of breast self-exams, physician exams, thermography and mammography together provide the earliest detection system available to date (3,7,8). If treated in the earliest stages, cure rates greater than 95% are possible (3,6).
1.) American Cancer Society – Breast Cancer Guidelines and Statistics, 2005
2.) I. Nyirjesy, M.D. et al; Clinical Evaluation, Mammography and Thermography in the Diagnosis of Breast Carcinoma. Thermology, 1986; 1:170-173.
3.) M. Gautherie, Ph.D.; Thermobiological Assessment of Benign and Malignant Breast Diseases. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 1983; V147, No. 8: 861-869
4.) C. Gros, M.D., M. Gautherie, Ph.D.; Breast Thermography and Cancer Risk Prediction. Cancer, 1980; V 45, No. 1:51-56
5.) P. Haehnel, M.D., M. Gautherie, Ph.D. et al; Long-Term Assessment of Breast Cancer Risk by Thermal Imaging. In: Biomedical Thermology, 1980; 279-301.
6.) P. Gamigami, M.D.; Atlas of Mammography: New Early Signs in Breast Cancer. Blackwell Science, 1996.
7.) P. Ahlgren, M.D., E. Yu, M.D., J. Keyserlingk, M.D.; Is it Time to Reassess the Value of Infrared Breast Imaging? Primary Care & Cancer (NCI), 1998; V 18, No. 2.
8.) N. Belliveau, M.D., J. Keyserlingk, M.D. et al; Infrared Imaging of the Breast: Initial Reappraisal Using High Resolution Digital Technology in 100 Successive Cases of Stage I and II Breast Cancer. Breast Journal, 1998; V 4, N 4.