This screening includes images of the frontal, inferior, bilateral oblique and lateral views.
Thermography can aid in the assessment of various dysfunctions, diseases, and other concerns in the breasts to include:
- Breast Cancer
- Inflammatory Breast Disease
- Fibrocystic Breast
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will experience a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. All women of any age can benefit from a breast thermography screening as it gives a baseline for breast health, providing a clinical marker. It is especially suitable for women who are under the age of 40, as well as women with dense breasts. There are over 20,000 cases of breast cancer each year in the USA in women between the ages of 20-40. When cancer occurs in a younger woman it is usually a much more aggressive form, and less likely to respond to treatment. There is currently no routine screening test for women under 40. Thermography may fill this void and should be investigated as a variable screening for these women.
Doctors agree that the earlier you can detect cancer, the better the chance of survival. Breast thermography detects cancer before it has even formed a tumor in some cases due to the fact that it is detecting the heat produced by increased blood vessel formation known as neoangiogenesis. Traditional methods would not agree with the “diagnosis” of cancer in this case because the tumor had not grown dense enough to block an x-ray beam (mammography) or sound wave (ultrasound). A cancerous tumor can be developing for 8-10 years before it is dense enough to be detected by these traditional methods. One in five mammograms are false negative meaning that 1 in 5 women hold false security that there is no tumor present. Combining thermography with mammography or other forms of screening yield the best results. Neither thermography, mammography or ultrasound are standalone screening procedures, nor can any of these methods diagnose cancer. A diagnosis can only be made with a biopsy.
The client below was diagnosed with a 2.4 cm tumor behind the right nipple (retroareolar carcinoma) following a thermography screening. She had several mammograms prior that did not detect this tumor. According to www.cancer.gov, mammography misses up to 20% of tumors overall, and statistically is ineffective in women with dense breast tissue.
Inflammatory Breast Disease
Inflammatory breast cancer is a very aggressive disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. Although inflammatory breast cancer is rare, accounting for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States, it progresses rapidly, often in a matter of weeks or months.
Inflammatory breast cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Often, there is no lump that can be felt during physical examination or seen with an ultrasound or mammogram screening. In addition, most women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer have dense breast tissue, which makes detection with traditional screening tests more difficult.
Inflammatory Breast Disease
It is estimated that as many as 40% of all women in North America have fibrocystic breasts. This is a benign condition characterized by round lumps (cysts) in the breast tissue. Fibrocystic breasts are an example of the physiological change within the body in relationship to hormone toxicity. The use of thermography views these as small pockets of inflammation that are describe as “leopard spots”.
Importance of Breast Thermography Follow-up
Breast thermography views vascular change and is intended to monitor beast health over time which should not change substantially from year to year. A baseline will be established when comparing your initial screening to all future screenings. Make sure to follow all recommendations in the report and by a primary doctor.
The images on the left were taken July 2013. A 3 month follow up screening was recommended. The client neglected to adhere to the recommendations and the condition significantly worsened over the 5 month period, as can be seen in the image to the right taken in December 2013. There were several factors present that alerted the interpreting doctors that a pathological process may be forming.
Thermography follow up