Breast Thermography

By Dr. Tonya Fleck

Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. One out of eight American women who live to be 85 years of age will develop breast cancer. It is the most common cancer in women under the age of 50 and breast cancers in younger women tend to be more aggressive and have poorer survival rates.

The key to breast cancer survival rests upon its earliest possible detection. If discovered in its earliest stages, 95% cure rates are possible. Yes, 95%! The majority of breast cancers are actually detected from women doing their own self breast exams. If you are unsure of how to do your own breast exam or don=t know what exactly to look for, be sure to ask your doctor.

In this day and age, especially here in California, where women are actively involved in making educated, informed choices about their health care, Breast Thermography is an extremely valuable tool in early breast cancer detection and can offer women a sensitive, non-invasive addition to their regular breast exams and check-ups. Breast Thermography is a procedure that has the ability to warn women up to 10 years before any other procedure that a cancer may be forming, and a positive thermographic image represents the highest known risk factor for the future development of breast cancer.

We=re most familiar with a mammogram, so how does Breast Thermography differ? The answer is that both are screening tests that do not specifically diagnose breast cancer, but screen for changes in local tissues due to various causes. Both are superior to clinical or self-examination for detecting early pathological changes.

Mammography detects anatomical changes and is more precise than thermography in identifying the exact location of a lesion, while thermography detects physiological changes that occur much earlier than anatomical changes. However, whereas mammograms emit radiation into the breast and cause pain by compression, both of which are damaging to the breast tissue, Thermography is non-invasive, painless and harmless. Images of the breast are taken using an ultra-sensitive medical infrared imaging camera. Sophisticated computer programs then allow the Doctor to isolate temperature differentials, analyze vasculature and obtain other important data to determine the health of the breast tissue.

One of the powerful benefits of Breast Thermography is that it has the ability to give a warning signal in advance of invasive tumor growth. However, conventionally, breast thermography is not meant to replace a mammogram, although, upon a suspicious finding on a thermography, a woman will choose to skip a mammogram in favor of the next step (often an ultrasound and/or biopsy). Studies show that the earliest detection is realized when a multiple testing approach to screening is taken. This multimodal approach includes breast self-examinations, physical breast exams by a doctor, mammography, and thermography.

Be pro-active about your breast health. Schedule your Thermography today.

To read more research on Breast Thermography: