~ Forewords ~
As far back as the year 2000, this site and its Editor/Publisher were recommending our listeners and readers to avoid mammograms and the like and find a doctor who would work WITH you and not ON you – by going the route recommended in this marvelous column. Take heed – the answers are here – and out there. After all – it is YOUR health (J.B.)
Thermography is a high technology tool that specifically measures inflammation in the body. This test is particularly good for assessing areas of inflammation and increased metabolic rate. It is more effective and is significantly less invasive than mammography.
Research has shown that the major mechanism involved with all degenerative disease is inflammation. Most medical testing searches for disease processes that have already developed. They are looking downstream to the effect rather than upstream at the underlying cause. More advanced health care practitioners use instruments and technology that searches upstream for the cause of physiological abnormalities in the body.
How Does Thermography Work?
Thermography is a scanning device that measures your body surface temperature and presents the information as a digitized image. This tool makes a digital map of your body and very accurately illustrates heat patterns. These patterns may detect some abnormal condition such as cancer cell growth or active infection.
Mammograms look for anatomical changes in the breast such as masses or lumps. Thermograms analyze the vascular changes in the breast. Increased blood into certain regions of the body increases the heat of that region. Areas of inflammation, cancer cell formation and active infection have elevated circulation. Thermal imaging has a great ability to detect subtle physiological changes that accompany pathology (1).
Thermal Assymetry Indicates Problems
The body should naturally have thermal symmetry. Areas of asymmetry can indicate problems and are analyzed specifically for underlying pathology. Cancer cells divide very rapidly and demand increased blood flow and nutrient delivery. The metabolic processes in the body cannot differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells. This results in increased formation of blood cells around these active cancer cells.
Thermography picks up this abnormal blood supply well before the cancer gets large enough to be noticed as a lump in a breast exam. It is estimated that thermography can detect cancer formation roughly 10 years before mammography can identify a tumor (2).
Breasts Normally Appear Purple
The breasts do not normally generate much heat. In fact, healthy breasts appear purple during a thermographic exam. This indicates very low heat levels. Red, orange, or yellow spots that appear during a breast thermograph may indicate the presence of cancer and should be looked at more closely (3).
Thermography has been studied in detail for over 30 years. The data base is over 250,000 women that have been included as study participants (4). These large, long-durational studies have shown an average sensitivity and specificity of 90%. The studies show that a persistent abnormal thermogram caries with it a 22 time higher risk of future breast cancer (5).
Thermograms are Very Reliable
Thermograms are a very reliable and accurate tool that provide precise and objective data of thermal information. This information can be used for successful diagnosis, treatment, & prognosis. They are completely painless, non-invasive and take less than 15 minutes for a thorough reading.
Unlike mammograms, thermograms emit no harmful ionizing radiation. Mammograms are one of the more dangerous medical tools due to the very high amounts of ionizing radiation (6). Thermograms use infrared technology that is completely safe.
They also do not compress the breast tissue like mammograms. This compression that takes place during mammograms can cause cancer cells to break off create a malignant spread through the blood stream (7).
Thermography Testing Protocols
The first session one receives provides the baseline reading. Many practitioners call this the `thermal signature.` A second reading is typically recommended 3 months later to test for any changes. After these initial 2 patterns are analyzed the patient is recommended to receive yearly thermographs to detect any subtle changes in vascularity and blood flow dynamics.
If you are outside of Atlanta, google search thermography in your area and you will most likely find clinics in every major city that offer this form of testing.
Written by Dr. David Jockers for Dr. Jockers.com ~ December 8, 2020