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Health

Little Known Alternative to Mammogram: Breast Thermography

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“A lot of guys think that the larger a woman’s breasts are, the less intelligent she is. I don’t think it works like that at all. I think it’s the opposite, the larger a woman’s breasts are the less intelligent men become." Anita Wise.

Breast thermography is a procedure that has been Food and Drug Administration, FDA, approved since 1983 for the detection of breast cancer. Yet, most women haven’t even heard of it. Each year many women are urged to have a mammogram. Nevertheless, when it comes to radiation exposure, there is no safe level. The Department of Health and Human Services in “The Report on Carcinogens” lists x-rays, gamma radiation, as “known human carcinogens.” Breast cancer detection is crucial but at what expense?

Every year over one-hundred and eight-thousand women are diagnosed and die from breast cancer. This is the leading cause of death in the forty-four to forty-five age groups. However, a Canadian study revealed that mammograms did not have any positive effect on the mortality rate of women in this age group.

Compared to other cancers, breast cancer is a slow-growing cancer and may take years to develop. Giving younger women yearly mammograms increases their cumulative radiation exposure and risks of developing cancer. In some pre-menopausal women, there is a cancer gene which makes them even more sensitive to the effects of radiation. The Lancet, British Medical Journal, reported that since the introduction of mammograms, ductal carcinoma has increased 200% due to mammograms.

In his book, The Politics of Cancer, Dr. Samuel S. Epstein stated that the risk of cancer increased per x-ray. This is very alarming, since yearly mammograms can consist of four to sixteen exposures, depending upon such factors as the density and the shape of the breast.

Based on only 4 x-rays, each breast is exposed to an average of 250mr (millirem), a measurement of ionizing radiation, times two exposures per breast or 1,000mr or 1 rad (radiation absorbed dose) of radiation; equivalent to 1,000 standard x-rays. To place this into proper prospective, the average human being receives 100mr to the whole body each year from naturally-occurring background radiation. In other words, the damage to the body is much less due to the lower exposure rate and because the radiation is spread out over the entire body, verses being concentrated in one area.

Besides the cumulative radiation risks, some of the drawbacks to mammograms are pain, compression of a potential tumor, and false positives which leads to unnecessary biopsies and stress. The way to avoid all of this is with good eating habits, supplements, eliminating toxins, limiting exposure to synthetic estrogens, self and clinical exams, and non-invasive procedures such as ultrasound and thermography.

Long ago in 400BC, Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine, stated “In what part of the body that heat or cold is felt, the disease is there to be discovered.” Decades ago it was found that when a tumor was over the breast, it would measure warmer than healthy tissue due to the tumor producing its own blood supply to feed upon. This is where thermography can be beneficial. Thermography works of the principle of heat using high-definition and infrared technology. Thermography detects physiological changes that take place in the breast tissue, which has been shown to correlate with the presence of cancer or a precancerous state.

The procedure for thermography is simple and may be performed in the doctor’s office. The patient disrobes from the waist up and is conditioned to the surrounding room for 15 minutes. Next, the patients hands are submerged into cold water for one minutes and then the first set of images are taken. There is no need to worry as this is not a normal photograph but rather it is color images or outlines that the trained professional may interpret.

Thermography can detect physiological changes in the tissue up to 10 years before a tumor develops and before a tumor can be detected by a mammogram. This early detection allows intervention such as dietary changes and supplements to be administrated to the patient.

Women should be informed about their options and about the risks involved with routine mammograms. Especially since, other FDA approved options are available. More emphasis should be placed on the prevention of breast cancer and not on dangerous test.

From Get A Life from Toxins and Disease which will be released in April 2012. 

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