by Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM – During the past half-century, the lifetime risk of breast cancer more than tripled in the United States. In the 1940s, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer was one in 22. By 2007, it was one in eight. While advances in medicine have increased a women’s chance for survival, little has been done to reduce–or prevent–the cancer from occurring in the first place.
Thermography is the use of an infrared thermal camera to detect and record the heat radiating from the body. Clusters of abnormal cells that may be evolving toward cancer have an increased blood supply. More blood flowing through the vessels brings more heat. The autonomic nerves wrapped around the blood vessels reflect the heat from deep within the tissues to the surface of the skin. When used to assess breast tissue, thermography can identify areas of excess heat years – and areas of concern – years before a density can be identified by mammography. Even though thermography was FDA approved as an adjunctive screening procedure for breast concerns in 1982, few women are aware of this useful technology.
During the 1990s through the mid-2000s, more than 800 peer-reviewed studies were published involving more than 250,000 study participants describing its usefulness. The number of women in those studies ranged from 37,000 to 118,000, and some women were followed for up to 12 years. The studies reported that breast thermography has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90% for detecting early changes in the breast that can possibly lead to cancer.
Studies have shown:
• An abnormal infrared image is an important marker of high risk for problems in the tissues. The marker is said (by some) to be 8 times more significant as a marker for disease than a family history of the cancer.
• A person with a persistently abnormal thermogram has a 10 times greater risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
• A positive infrared scan does not mean you have cancer. The increased heat may be suggestive of many different breast abnormalities such as mastitis, benign tumors, fibrocystic breast disease, and yes, cancer.
• In a study from 1998, 100 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ were diagnosed pre-operatively using a clinical breast exam, mammography, and infrared imaging. The number of tumors diagnosed with mammography alone was 85%. The number of tumors diagnosed when a breast exam and a breast thermography were added increased to 95%.
Abnormalities can be identified at least seven years before the changes can be detected on a mammogram. Thermograms are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 and 2 being low risk and 3 being an equivocal risk. A score of 4 or 5 is a high risk area of concern that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Why did conventional medicine toss out this valuable early-warning assessment, one that is pain-free, compression-free and radiation-free? Because conventional physicians do not have the know-how to address a high-risk thermogram. They know little about recommending diet, weight loss, exercise and supplements specifically designed for breast health.
Every woman between the age of 30 and 40 needs to have a baseline thermogram to start breast health program years before breast cancer has a chance to develop. Every woman between the age of 40 and 65 needs a thermogram in conjunction with, and in many cases, in lieu of, a mammogram.
Find an infrared imaging center near you. If a center is several hours away, make the drive. The time you spend in travel can literally add years of health to your life.