by Pamela Howard, DC, Certified Clinical Thermographer
We’ve all heard the information provided by the American Cancer Society stating the chances of a woman having breast cancer some time during her lifespan as 1 in 8. We’ve all been told to have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40. What is not so well know is that breast screening doesn’t have to be painful any more!
That’s right, Medical Thermal Imaging or Thermography as it is also called is a non-invasive screening tool which measures the skin surface temperature in order to detect subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries. These asymmetries are used as a biomarker for which further studies can be done to determine the exact cause of the asymmetry.
Think of it this way: when you are sick and you suspect you have a fever you put a thermometer in your mouth for verification. Armed with this information, you provide your Health Care Provider with this information along with other signs and symptoms which will help to determine a diagnosis. Having a Thermography study can be used in the same way – armed with the information on various abnormal heat patterns, your Health Care Provider can look further for causes and detect areas of concern long before signs and symptoms may appear.
In the case of Breast Health, Thermography can be used to detect the increased heat generated by the tumor and from the formation of new blood vessels that feed a tumor. The increased heat generated by the tumor’s abnormal cell growth can be detected as early as the 2 year stage when there are approximately 256 cells instead of waiting for a mammogram to detect it in the 8 year stage when there are over 4 billion cells. The faster a tumor grows, the more heat it generates. For younger women in particular this can lead to earlier detection and ultimately, longer life.
Women of all ages can be screened using Thermography. Thermography is an entirely safe means of screening; non-invasive, no body contact, no radiation and FDA approved since 1982 as an adjunct to mammography. Since Thermography is measuring the skin surface temperature it is not dependant on the density of a women’s breast and can be safely performed regardless of implants or surgeries. Thermal Imaging is also an excellent way of monitoring breast health for women with breast cancer and those in remission.
When looking for a Thermographer, verify that the person performing the scan is a Certified Clinical Thermographer and that the interpretation is done by a Licensed Medical Doctor who is Board Certified in Thermography. In addition, the interpreting Doctor should be part of a centralized interpretation service in order to recall images for future comparison purposes.
Dr. Pamela Howard, DC, Certified Clinical Thermographer; founded Advanced Thermal Imaging in 2005. Dr Howard is also a Certified Cancer Support Educator and provides her clients with references and resources for clearer understanding of health, empowering them in their search for optimal health.