Over the last few years, more and more women have questioned the safety of yearly mammograms and how they could impact their health and lives. Several recent studies indicate that mammography could be doing more harm than good for women under age 50 that have dense breasts and or the BRCA 1 and 2 gene mutations, which increase vulnerability to the cancer-causing effects of ionizing radiation.
In addition, the physical pressure of mammography could rupture an existing tumor, causing it to spread.
Such risks can be avoided with a radiation-free technology called regulation thermography (RT). Thermography is based on the physiology of heat generated by the body and the fact that skin temperature gives us information about how organs are functioning. Research has proven that the small blood vessels under the skin will contract (cool) or expand (heat), based upon the messages coming through the nervous system from the organs being tested, so measuring the precise skin temperatures over certain organs provides a very specific display of an individual’s unique biochemical profile.
It is possible to measure and detect changes in the skin's physiological response to stress. When there are disease processes in the human body, its organs respond differently to stress, and these changes may indicate the presence of disease, even at its earliest stage, before a patient shows symptoms. Breast thermography works on the principle that factors involved in the genesis of tumors generate heat or inflammation. The body’s infrared emissions can be accurately measured to tiny fractions of a degree using a specialized infrared sensor, and then displayed as a digital temperature.
While X-rays, ultrasound and mammography show the structure of the body, RT is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that shows its physiological activity, such as active inflammation and increased blood supply found in many illnesses. In the 1960s, cancer researchers observed that women with breast cancer showed an increase in skin temperature of one-and-a-half to five-and-a-half degrees Fahrenheit in areas overlying malignant tumors.
While many researchers believed that thermography could be a great asset in the early detection of breast cancer, a flawed study in 1977 that compared thermography to mammography showed that this might not be the case, and thermography was dismissed, while mammography was embraced as the gold standard screening tool. Mammograms are supposed to help with early detection, but by the time that breast cancer is detected in a mammogram, a woman may have had the disease for six to eight years.
In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved RT for use in the United States as a whole-body screening procedure that provides information about the functioning health of the nervous system and blood flow of individual organs, glands, lymph, sinuses, teeth and breasts. The sensitivity of RT appears to exceed that of other breast screening methods by looking at the entire body’s behavior after being stressed and giving a dynamic view of a real living organism, versus a non-moving, structural view like that of an X-ray. Thermography is completely safe and a powerful tool for detecting early disease processes in the breast.
RT as a functional test looks at autonomic nervous system response to a temperature challenge, thereby detecting disease signatures in the nervous system and immune system years before symptoms develop. Thermography may also prove to be an excellent way to monitor women that have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. In RT, because the whole body is tested and the breast is connected with many systems, including the lymphatic and endocrine systems, a whole body measurement is the best method because it can often discover the underlying causes, allowing those systems to be addressed concurrently. Using thermography, doctors can detect where there is dysfunction and work toward healing it before structures form, organs change shape or symptoms appear.
Thermography is an asset in the area of early detection and confirmation of breast cancers. In a German study, 54 percent of breast cancer patients were correctly diagnosed by history and physical examination. The number rose to 76 percent when mammography was added, but when thermography was used, the accuracy of diagnosis rose to 92 percent. Additional concerns around the effects of accumulated radiation associated with routine mammograms are resolved with thermography.
While RT is often associated with breast analysis in women, it is a proactive preventive strategy for men, women and children. Thermography offers the opportunity for people to either stay healthy or proactively address diseases already in progress that they may not be aware of.
Genie Fields is a doctor of chiropractic and director of the Thermography Center of Dallas. For more information, call 214-352-8758 or visit ThermographyCenter.com.