In lieu of Breast Health Awareness Month, let’s discuss what thermography really is…
Facts: According to the American Cancer Society, Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and risks increase with age. Current research suggested that 1 in 8 women in the US will get breast cancer in their lifetime.
Thermography is the use of digital infrared imaging that measures changes in tissue physiology. Through temperature variations it measures metabolic activity and vascular circulation that may be associated with an underlying problem. Cancerous tumors need to be fed nutrients to grow, and they do this by increasing circulation to the cells and creating new blood vessels. We call this growth of blood vessels neoangiogenesis. The vascular process of building new blood vessel and activating inactive blood vessels causes an increase in surface temperature which can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras to assess risk.
- Studies suggest it can detect breast abnormalities eight to ten years before any other test
- Noninvasive, non-contact and painless
- No radiation
- Safe for even pregnant and nursing women since it is merely measuring heat changes
- Can detect lymphatic congestion and hormonal imbalances
Can be used for all women, Interpretation of thermal breast images is not adversely affected by a history of fibrocysts, fibroadenomas, cysts, most breast surgeries (e.g. augmentation, reduction, biopsy, partial mastectomy), scar tissue or other benign tissue changes.
Thermography is noted intended to diagnose or treat cancer or replace a physical exam and screening imaging. Good breast care should include a combination of a breast self-examination, physical examination by a doctor, screening imaging as recommended and thermography.
How to Perform a Monthly Self Breast Exam:
To check breast for lumps, thickness or other changes:
- Checking your breasts in the shower can be a convenient way to get the self exam into your routine.
- Press firmly with the pads of your fingers. Move your left hand over your right breast in a circle. Make sure to check all over and include the armpit.
- Now check your left breast with your right hand in the same way.
- You also should look at your breasts in a mirror. Look for any changes in how your breasts look.
- If you identify any changes, please let your doctor know as soon as possible