Breast cancer screening without breast compression
Thermography is method of detecting abnormal temperature areas in organs like breast. Thermography helps physicians to identify tumors like breast cancer. Several centuries ago the Father of Medicine (Hippocrates) used a similar technology to detect disease. He observed that the areas overlying an abnormal organ are especially warm. He applied mud over the patient and observed that the mud dries much faster in areas overlying tumors and inflamed organs. Little did he know that his technique would be adopted by the physicians of the 20 and 21 century to detect various tumors including breast cancer. This new technique used by physicians is known as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI).
The term thermography literally means writing with heat or writing heat. This equipment uses infrared head released from the tumor with the help of modern digital equipment to correctly map the presence of abnormality in areas like breast. Thermal cameras detect heat given off by the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor. These images are unique to the person and they remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool to determine changes that could point to trouble down the road. As we all know, early cancer detection is important to survival. Thermography measures temperature changes in the body. Tumors create their own blood vessels. Where there are more blood vessels, there is more heat. It is in these areas on the body that the camera detects changes in heat or temperature.
Thermography was used for the first time in modern times by a Canadian physician in 1957. He observed that the skin temperature over a tumor was higher than the temperature of the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. This technique was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982 for additional evaluation of patients who were found to have suspicious lesions in the breast. Since then thermography has not very popular among physicians for various reasons including lack of protocols for testing and interpreting.
The recent time has witnessed the evolving role of thermography after introduction of protocols for testing and interpreting Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI).
Unlike mammography, there is no radiation exposure involved with Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI). Mammogram involve compression of the breast which is often painful and the use fo Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) eliminate the need for compression.
Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified and endure an additional two years of training in order to be a thermologist.
Thermography can be utilized by women of all shapes and sizes and all ages. It is not limited by breast density and is ideal for women who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. It is recommended that since cancer typically has a 15 year life span from onset to death, that women begin thermographic screenings at age 25. The number one killer of women ages 40-44 is breast cancer, therefore a woman diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 possibly had the cancer as early as age 30. Since most women do not have a mammogram until age 40, there is a critical time period from age 25 to 39 that thermography could be beneficial.
Thermography does not replace mammography. However, it is an additional tool that is available to women. By combining both technologies, the detection rate increases to 95-98%, surpassing either technology as a stand-alone therapy.
Thermographic screening is not covered by most insurance companies but is surprisingly affordable for most people. For more information, go to www.proactivehealthonline.com.
Please note that Thermography does not replace mammography.