Tuesday, August 3

Who isn’t familiar with the expression, “early detection is the very best prevention?” We hear this term throughout the entire year and most everyone is acquainted with this “catch phrase” as it relates to breast cancer. Obviously, a woman’s chance for survival improves when a cancer is found early. We listen to that simple rhyming statement but are ladies really offered early detection?

Our “gold standard” for breast cancer screening is mammography, clinical breast exam and self breast exam. Other strategies are used but ALL current technologies examine structure; something is formed and big enough to be seen or felt. Nevertheless, it’s well documented which a mass that’s discovered by mammography has been growing for 8 10 years before it was detected. Is this early detection?
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There exists a technology which can detect an issue YEARS before a tumor may be seen on X ray or palpated during an exam and truly offers early detection. This technological innovation has been accredited by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool after 1982 and offers NO RADIATION, NO COMPRESSION AND NO PAIN. For females which are seeking early breast cancer detection, digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) may be of interest.

Historically, DITI fell out of favor shortly after its initial debut in early 80s. When DITI was first introduced, strict protocols and trained technicians didn’t exist. Shortly after its first beginnings, DITI fell out of favor as a diagnostic tool in the medical community.

There are actually very strict protocols both for testing and interpreting. Maybe due to these guidelines, thermography (as with all digital technology) has exploded in its technique and capabilities. Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it to be a picture holding a computer monitor. These images are special to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these qualities that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool. Tumors or even other breast diseases measures warmer compared to surrounding tissue and can thereby alert a physician to an issue before a tumor is actually palpable.

Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified thermologists. Thermography is not really limited by breast density and is perfect for women who have had reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, women who refuse mammography, or perhaps girls who want clinical correlation for an already existing issue. Thermography, since it analyzes a developing process, may identify a problem a few years before mammography. As we all know, early detection is essential to survival.

DITI has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90 %. A 10x greater risk for cancer is carried by an abnormal thermogram. A persistent abnormal thermogram carries a 22x greater risk for cancer. Thermography, as well as mammography is an individual choice for girls. This decision ideally should be manufactured in collaboration between you and the physician of yours. But, thermography does not call for a physician’s order.

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