Early Detection of Breast Cancer A close friend of mine told me she was suffering from jaw pain and said it was probably stress related. Only the following day did she confide to me that she had been fearfully awaiting the results from a repeat breast exam, thus the reason for her anxiety. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage saves lives. When discovered early there is a 99% survival rate (stage 0 and stage 1.) Unfortunately everyone knows that if, G-d forbid, one does get a positive result from a breast check, mammograph and/or breast ultra sound, it normally means going straight for medical treatment including possible surgery, radiation and chemo. It's no wonder a woman is under great emotional strain when she is called back for further testing. Perhaps one day there will be a test that will be able to identify the potential for breast cancer before it actually develops – so that if one receives a positive result, there will still be time to prevent the cancer from developing rather then immediately having no choice but to begin difficult cancer treatments. Well – the future is here!
It is called Thermographic Imaging of the breast. Thermographic Imaging, also known as Thermography, is a noninvasive, safe test (there is no exposure to radiation) that can detect breast cancer up to 10 years before the cancer develops!
How Does Thermographic Imaging Work? In order for a cancer to grow it needs a blood supply. The potential tumor causes a process called Angiogenesis which is the creation of blood vessels to the area of a cancer. Without a blood supply the cancer would not have the nutrients it needs to grow. The increase in blood supply to feed a breast tumor causes the temperature of the surface of the breast to increase. In addition, the increased cellular activity, where a tumor may be developing, also emits more heat. Thermographic Imaging of the breast detects the heat that is emitted from the breast. In those areas of the breast where a potential cancer may be developing, the increased heat from increased cellular activity will be reflected on the thermogram. The areas where there is an increased blood supply will also show up on the thermogram. In healthy breasts there will be a symmetrical heat pattern on both breasts, but if there is more vascular and/or cellular activity due to potential cancer cells on one breast, this can show up as thermal asymmetry on the thermogram. In the above image you can see there is more heat (red) above the left breast showing a potential for breast cancer developing in that area. Thermographic Imaging of the breast has 5 different risk ratings, where 1 is the lowest risk rating and 5 is the highest for developing cancer. If the Thermography results show a low risk rate, it will be recommended to just return for a routine Thermography of the breasts to check for any changes. If results are a higher risk rate, then recommendations will be for further medical testing to evaluate a possible existence of a tumor. By having a yearly thermography beginning with a baseline, you can see if there are any changes over time.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Breast Cancer? If a thermographic risk rating is high (4 or 5) and there is no existing tumor, recommendations will be made to try to prevent or inhibit the development of cancer through various lifestyle changes. These include diet, exercise, reducing stress and avoiding toxins. Some women are more sensitive to estrogen and are at a greater risk of developing a tumor that is estrogen sensitive - a tumor that is more likely to grow in a high-estrogen environment. It is important for these women to remove estrogen and estrogen imitators. For example, certain plastic containers we store our food in are made up of molecules that are very similar in structure to the estrogen molecule. These molecules may leach into the food and the body can mistake these as estrogen molecules. Estrogen mimickers may contribute to the development of an estrogen sensitive tumor. Another example of environmental factors that may be may be causing breast cancer are preservatives called parabens that are found in almost all of our skin care and hair products. Research shows that parabens are found in breast cancer tumors – causing researchers to fear that parabens may be causing certain types of breast cancer tumors. This is yet another substance a woman who are at high risk would want to avoid. This is just some of the info women, who are trying to prevent breast cancer, will have to take into consideration as they change their lifestyles for prevention. Of course it would be best if everyone adopted lifestyle changes including a healthy diet, exercise, reducing stress and avoiding toxins to prevent not only cancer, but other illnesses as well. Sadly, many of us may need a red light warning to realize we have to change our lifestyle. At least with Thermography, we get that warning and have time to make these changes.
What happens during a Thermography Test? The test is done at a clinic that has Thermographic Imaging. The breasts are photographed behind a curtain. There is no need for any physical contact. You will first need to wait 15 minutes bare chested to adjust to the temperature of the room. You are either alone or can bring a companion with you. I recommend bringing a book to read while waiting The test itself takes only a few minutes. Results are analyzed and later sent.
Where to Get a Thermography You can find a thermography clinic through the internet - just make sure the thermographer is certified and that the images are interpreted by well-trained and experienced practitioner.
Thermography in Israel At this time Thermographic Imaging of the breasts is only available privately. This can be done at the Institute of Thermographic Imaging in Herzlia, under the direction Dr. Ami Eyal, Thermologist
6 Bar On St. Herzliya 09-9568866 email@example.com I can't emphasize enough the importance of doing this test once a year to safeguard your health. Ask any woman who has undergone cancer treatments if it is worth paying today to possibly prevent treatments tomorrow.
Is a Mammography for Early Detection? The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force's changed the guidelines for routine screening for breast cancer. Based on analysis of existing trials that looked at how mammography screening effected breast cancer related deaths, the task force now recommends that women only over the age of 50 be routinely screened every 2 years. This is a great change from the guidelines that recommended women be screened from the age of 40. This caused a great rift in the medical world. Many doctors felt that having routine mammograms from age 40 can save the lives of many women due to early detection. On the other hand there are those who feel that the danger of being exposed to radiation for those extra 10 years can be more harmful and may increase the chances of a woman developing cancer. Much of the arguments against routine Mammograms are based on an analysis report published by two Swedish researchers in the prestigious British medical journal Lancet. Mammography was created in Sweden and this country has the longest recorded data on which the researchers based their analysis. Their conclusion was that there is virtually no benefit from mammograms for women under the age of 55. The International Journal of Epidemiology Commentary: Screening: a Seductive Paradigm that Has Generally Failed Us discusses that mammograms only discover cancer after it has already by growing for years. That does not seem like "early detection:
“the women have harbored the cancer for 21 years on average before it is large enough to be detected by mammography screening.”
It also discusses the dangers of over diagnosis:
Screening leads to over diagnosis, and interventions that are beneficial for real patients can be lethal for healthy over diagnosed people. Radiotherapy of over diagnosed women may kill at least as many as those who are spared dying from breast cancer by attending breast screening.
How are woman to decide when to begin having routine mammograms and how often to have a routine mammogram with this conflict in information? Adding thermography Imaging to a woman's routine screening is the perfect way to cover all the bases. Can you really rely on a mammogram? I have had the honor of working with many clients who have had breast cancer. Reflexology can help reduce the side effects of some of the medications as well as help with lymphedema. As part of taking a medical history, I ask my clients how they discovered their breast cancer. I have to say that it is very rare that a client tells me she discovered she had breast cancer from a routine mammogram. One client had routine mammograms twice a year (due to lumpy breast tissue). She had her last mammogram 5 months earlier, but there was no detection of breast cancer. She ended up discovering a lump herself and underwent radiation therapy. Another client had a mammogram a year earlier. Once her breast cancer was discovered, the doctors went back to look at her mammogram and realized that the cancer was evident, but her mammogram was analyzed incorrectly. So – do you really want to only rely only on a mammogram to detect breast cancer? Future Hopefully in the future Thermographic Imaging of the breast will be a routine test, covered by insurance and available in hospitals. In fact, one of the clients mentioned above, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, was tested at one of the hospitals in Israel with Thermographic Imaging to test the validity of this type of screening for detecting breast cancer. The test did show that she had high risk rate for cancer – but unfortunately for her it was too late to do something about it. She underwent surgery and is about to begin a very intense protocol of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Please don't wait until Thermographic Imaging of the breast will be covered by your insurance. Pay for it privately and make an appointment today. This is one test where time is really of the essence to save lives. Special thanks to Dr. Ami Eyal, who patiently answered all of my many questions.
Oran Aviv has been a reflexologist for 25 years and is also a Certified Validation teacher. She combines both the principles of hand reflexology and Validation to teach ©Hands-on Dementia to caregivers and senior facility staff around the world.
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