April 02nd 2011 - Thermography is Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI), a non-invasive way to screen for breast cancer without radiation. It has been FDA approved for breast cancer screening since 1982, but you likely have never heard of it. This lack of knowledge is unfortunate since many women are refusing to get mammograms because they want to avoid the cumulative effect of radiation. They don't know what else to do so they do nothing. Nothing is not a good option.
Many women also do not want a mammogram because they want to avoid the pain it causes. There is no pain with thermography. No one touches the body. A camera records the images just like taking a photograph. But an infrared camera will detect varying temperatures on the surface of the skin which are indications of what is going on physiologically beneath the skin, thus fibrocystic conditions are detected, cysts, cancer, etc. Other conditions that may be discovered with this method are diverticulitis, inflammed livers and gall bladders, bladder infections, dental infections, thyroiditis, pain, arthritis, strained muscles, and many other issues when other parts of the body are scanned. A thermogram will assist in diagnosing whether a condition is due to inflammation or not. It is a great tool to be used along with mammograms, MRIs and untrasound.
When the best policy is prevention and early detection, then the best method to use for screening is thermography. If there is a condition detected that requires further testing that is diagnostic, then it is strongly recommended that a person get diagnostic testing of their choice, which could be a sonogram, another method that does not use radiation. Many women never need diagnostic testing, so they never need to expose themselves to needless radiation. I would never say to never get a mammogram. What I am saying it that a thermogram will aid in early detection so a person has time to change lifestyle and other preventative methods to head off a problem before it is life-threatening. A mammogram is an x-ray and a thermogram will not see what an x-ray does. Similarly, an x-ray will never pick up inflammation. That means a mammogram will completely miss inflammatory breast disease. How very unfortunate since it can silently kill a person without their knowing they even have it.
Thermography is also a way to monitor the progress of cancer therapy whether it is standard, complementary or alternative. And be assured that only medical doctors that are board certified to read thermograms will be writing the reports, not me. I'm just the technician. I know what I am doing and I do it well, with great feedback as to my "bedside manner" so to speak. But I believe that only a medical doctor should be writing reports, not chiropractors or PhDs, all of which can call themselves doctors. Please be discerning enough to ask just who is going to read the thermograph and write a report.
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