Health and wellness
Today I got to experience breast thermography at the Alternative Naturopathic Center here in Colorado. I had heard about it before, and since it was time for my mammogram I figured I'd try it out. I've had two mamms previously, and had always felt very uncomfortable getting them as I knew that they emit lots of radiation. Finding a place that does thermography wasn’t difficult but I know that Colorado has more in the way of alternative health than a lot of other states. I literally googled ‘breast thermography’ and up popped several that participated in it and I was lucky enough to find one close to my home.
In case you don’t know anything about thermography, here’s the low down.
In 1982, the FDA approved Thermography as an adjunctive breast screening procedure. Breast thermography has the ability to detect the first signs of a tumor that may be forming, up to 10 years before other procedures can detect it. The best evidence supporting the underlying principle of the thermal imaging regarding cancerous tumors surrounds the well- documented recruitment of existing vascularity and diagnosis. Conclusion- Thermography has the ability to signal that pre-cursers such as lymph congestion, hormone imbalance, and inflammation may be forming and set up an ‘alarm’ as much as 10 years before other procedures can recognize them.
The focus on breast health is related to breast cancer precursors- those heat markers and areas that no x-ray or mammogram could ever show. A few things that thermography detects:
-Chronic (prolonged) inflammation
-Chronic lymphatic congestion (the systems that feed breast tissues and carry waste away)
-Estrogen inflammatory influences (frequently when blood tests results show normal prognosis)
In 1890 1in 90 women had breast cancer, in 2013 1 in 8 women, and today 1 in 6 women have it. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think that women get breast cancer because of mammograms, I think there are lots of other contributing factors. But, because of all the radiation that is emitted during, I wanted to try something else. And, here's a fun trivia fact, if you've had more than 7 mammograms in your life, you've increased your risk of breast cancer by 75%! Yup, you read that right. And our docs always tell us that by the time you reach the BIG 40, you need to have them every year! Every year for what, the rest our lives? Even if we don't have a family history? Even if we do? What about all that radiation? Won't that cause cancer? Answer, yes it does. In fact, more and more reports are coming out proving that not only do mammograms increase your risk of cancer, but if you have no history and are not at risk , you shouldn't even start getting them until you're over 50! What?!
So, there I was, freezing and naked from the waist up (yes I had a gown on), filling out my health history and the health history of all the women in my family. They want you to sit in a cold room for ten minutes to lower your body temp so the DITI or digital infrared thermal imagining can read the heat in your body much easier. Mandy, the clinical thermographer, came in, talked with me for a minute or so and then instructed me to sit on the stool in front of the thermography machine. She then told me to raise my arms over my head, turn this way and that, taking images here and there. I could see the images appearing on the computer screen as she took them and after about five minutes she was done. There was no pulling or tugging, smashing or cold two ton machine squishing the girls into oblivion (I know dramatic. But those of you who have had a mammogram know what I’m feeling here!). I asked her a few questions about the procedure and honestly how accurate it is. She told me it’s actually more accurate than a mammogram because this procedure uses heat and cancer cells emit heat when they are dividing and growing. In fact, it can detect them ten years before the mammogram can. I left feeling good about it and not beat up or slightly bruised (I know, drama again). I would definitely recommend it to women, way before the mammogram. Before you get this done, do your research like I always say. Make sure you feel comfortable with it, make sure you’re able to have it done and that you’re not under a doctor’s care for some specific breast issues.
I always look towards the alternative way of doing things, but some things may not be right for you. Educate yourself and then make the best decision for you and your body. No one knows your body better than you do!
Here’s to your health and Namaste!