Thermography for breast screening

by Dr. Martha Grout — 

Mammography has neither proved to be a flawless screening tool, nor does it give a good reading in women with dense breasts. And as every woman who has undergone a mammogram knows, it hurts to have breast tissue squashed between two pieces of metal. Researchers have long warned that the compressive force used to obtain useable mammograms may, in fact be a contributing factor to breast cancer. It exposes women  to radiation year after year, increasing the odds for cancer.

There is mounting evidence that x-rays from repeated mammograms induce cancer. Dr. John W. Gofman, an authority on the health effects of ionizing radiation, estimates that 75 percent of breast cancer could be prevented by avoiding or minimizing exposure to ionizing radiation.

Digital mammography is a mammography system in which x-ray film is replaced by solid-state detectors that convert x-rays into electric signals. Radiologists find that, like mammograms, it also produces many false positives. That in turn, triggers needless biopsies.

Thermography is a noninvasive, 15-minute test. It does not use radiation or compress breast tissue and is better than mammography at early detection of breast function abnormalities.

The consensus among experts is that early detection of breast cancer holds the key to survival. Cancer cells are typically in the body 10 to 20 years before the mass gets large enough to be noticed.

Chemical and blood vessel activity in the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than normal breast tissue. Cancer cells need an abundant supply of nutrients to maintain their growth, and this can increase the surface temperatures of the breast.

Thermography measures the skin’s autonomic response to that inflammation — its “heat signature.” The suspicious signs of cancer’s early formation can be seen on a thermogram as many as 10 years earlier than it can be seen on a mammogram.

The conventional medical world, however, is invested in mammography machines, despite the growing number of studies that show their ineffectiveness. The Canadian National Breast Screening Study concluded that there is no evidence that screening for breast cancer with mammography is effective for women younger than 50. In 2001, the Cochrane Institute concluded that mammogram screenings could be harmful in that they frequently lead to over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

If mammography’s snapshot of structure can only detect a cancerous mass once it has grown for eight years, but thermography can detect early increases in inflammation suggestive of possible cancer formation, it stands to reason that thermography is a better early warning system, giving women the fighting chance they need to win this battle.

 

Martha Grout, M.D., M.D.(H), offers thermography for both breast screening and pain management. She has two decades in emergency medicine and a decade in homeopathic medicine. Her environmentally friendly Scottsdale, Ariz. office, The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, specializes in chronic illness and brain training. www.ArizonaAdvancedMedicine.com or  480-240-2600.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 5, October/November 2008.

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