Women in America and other industrialized countries are convinced that regular mammograms are crucial to detecting breast cancer. Enormous funding and research has swayed the public into believing this to be true. Yet despite this, mammography has a very strong opposition in many quadrants of the medical and natural health communities. If you discover one of the warning signs of breast cancer, the question remains: are mammograms the best test for breast cancer?
Mammograms provide an X-ray image of breasts in which doctors will look for evidence of growing tumors that may go unnoticed during a routine physical exam. Needed to produce the image, X-rays expose the patient to ionizing radiation.
Risks and dangers come with mammography use including the exposure to radiation, financial burden, and the rate of inaccuracies. Until 2001, women over the age of 50 were urged to receive annual mammograms. This is when American health officials changed their recommendations to include all women over 40 years of age. Yet back in July of 1995, the British medical journal, The Lancet, published that “the benefit (of mammograms) is marginal, the harm caused is substantial, and the costs incurred are enormous…”
Risk of “False Positive” Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
A “false positive” on a breast cancer test triggers an enormous amount of emotional stress on both patients and their family members. One research team analyzed mammogram diagnostics from 60,000 women. False positives were detected in 70% of the detected areas of concern.
The tremendously high rate of false positive diagnosis has many doctors skeptical of the efficacy of mammography. Furthermore, false detection results in invasive and avoidable biopsies. Upon further testing from these biopsies, 70-80% of detected “tumors” on mammograms revealed no presence of cancer.
Effects of a False Positive Diagnosis
The emotional trauma that comes with believing you have cancer is enough to trigger and accelerate illness in the body. False positive diagnoses are often followed up with unnecessary mastectomies, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. These treatments further damage an individual’s health by creating physical, emotional, and economic burdens.
Unnecessary Radiation Exposure
Annual mammograms expose a woman to a significantly high amount of ionizing radiation. We are all exposed to ionizing radiation produced from the natural world around us. Our bodies can manage this small amount of radiation, but when high doses of exposure occurs annually there are health risks involved.
If you have ever had a spinal or chest X-ray performed, the radiation that you were exposed to was 1,000 times less than the radiation that is required to complete one series of mammograms to two breasts. Many experts agree that this quantity of radiation actually increases an individual’s risks of breast cancer. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, proposes that the likelihood of breast cancer raises 2% each year a mammogram is performed.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has stated that for every 15 cases of breast cancer mammography identifies, it may actually cause 75 breast cancer diagnoses. For this reason younger women are especially at risk for the dangers involving mammography testing. In fact, studies have shown that young women tested annually have up to a 52% increase in breast cancer related deaths.
Mammograms Stimulate Cancer Growth
Since the onset of mammography, the rate of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)has elevated by 328%. DCIS is a type of early stage breast cancer. Researchers have discovered the oncogene AC which is extremely sensitive to radiation. Women with the oncogene AC are at an even higher risk when they undergo mammography testing. It is estimated that 10,000 individuals whom carry the gene will die of breast cancer annually as a consequence of mammography.
Another way mammograms induce cancer growth is by compressing the patient’s breasts. This action releases cancerous cells into circulation thereby increasing the risk that the malignancy will spread systemically.
A former clinical associate at the NCI in immunology and pharmacology, Dr. Charles Simone, has strongly advocated against mammography for breast cancer screening. Dr. Simone said, “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasizing an existing growth.”
Thermography: A Better Breast Cancer Test
I firmly believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Somehow our society has missed the fact that we should strive every day to live an anti-cancer lifestyle. Rather, we are told that we should only screen our health each year while simultaneously we are led to believe it is okay to live a lifestyle destructive to our health.
When the inevitable results with a positive cancer diagnosis, we are treated like a victim. Instead we should be taught how years of abuse has led to the problem.
It has been my choice to live an anti-cancer lifestyle and avoid the dangers involved with “testing for disease.” If you have not followed this same healthy lifestyle, I recommend thermography testing for a safe and effective way to screen for cancer.
The Gold Standard for Detecting Breast Cancer
Thermography is a new technology that measures inflammation in the body. This makes it especially well equipped to detect the growth of cancer cells. This tool is far less invasive than mammography and is also more effective.
Degenerative disease is characterized by inflammatory pathways in the body, and cancer is not excluded. Unfortunately, disease must typically have already developed in the body for it to be detected by much of today’s medical procedures. Instead of looking for the originating cause, the medical community focuses on the effect of a problem in the body − the cancer. Advanced health care practitioners use diagnostic testing and methodology that searches for the cause of physiological abnormalities in the body.
How Does Thermography Screen for Cancer?
Thermography scans the body, measuring surface temperature and presenting this information as a digital image. This digital map illustrates heat patterns in the body and is tremendously accurate. Patterns can detect infection and abnormal tissue conditions.
Unlike mammograms which only analyze anatomical changes such as a lump, thermograms provide detailed information on vascular function in the breast. When blood flow increases to specific areas of the body, the temperature of that region also raises. Cancerous cell growth is represented by increased circulation resulting from infection and inflammation. Thermographs can screen for subtle physiological abnormalities that accompany disease before a large mass or lump will reveal its presence on a mammogram.
Thermal Asymmetry Indicates Abnormalities
Ideally, the body should be in a state of thermal symmetry. Areas of asymmetry can indicate problems and are analyzed specifically for underlying pathology. Cancerous growth thrives with elevated blood flow and requires a high demand for nutrient supply. The body cannot identify the metabolic difference between cancer cells and healthy cells, resulting in the increased supply of blood cells around the active cancer cells.
Thermography can identify this abnormal blood flow long before cancer growth becomes a mass detectable during a routine breast exam. Thermography is estimated to identify cancer growth 10 years before a mammogram shows a tumor.
Breasts Typically Appear Purple
Normally the breasts do not generate much heat. Healthy breasts appear purple on a thermographic image indicating low heat levels. Spots appearing red, orange, or yellow should be looked at further as these colors may indicate the presence of cancer.
More than 250,000 women participated in studies detailing thermography screening over the last 30 years. These large, long-durational studies have demonstrated a sensitivity and specificity of 90%. From these research groups it has been shown that a woman is 22 times more likely to develop breast cancer when she has consistently abnormal thermograms.
Reliability and Safety of Thermograms as a Breast Cancer Test
Information provided by thermograms is reliably accurate and provides objective data. The devices are painless, non-invasive, and provide quick results.
The high concentrations of ionizing radiation produced from mammograms make it one of the most dangerous medical devices used. Thermograms emit zero ionizing radiation and instead use safe infrared technology.
What to Expect With a Thermography Test for Breast Cancer
During your first thermography session you will provide a baseline reading referred to by practitioners as the “thermal signature.” Typically it will be recommended that you receive a second screening three months later to detect changes. The vascularity and blood flow pattern is then analyzed between the two readings. Going forward it’s recommended the patient receive annual thermography tests.
The results are given in a professionally written report by a radiologist who is trained in thermographic studies. Thermography testing is not approved for diagnostic interpretation, so you will not get a definitive diagnosis from the test.
Instead, you will see that abnormal readings will be noted as “at some or at strong risk,” whereas normal findings are listed as “at low risk.”
Many natural or integrative health care clinics are beginning to offer thermography testing. You can do a Google search for thermography offerings in your local area.