The Breast Kept Secret Movie Preview

superadmin , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well-known medical practitioners discuss mammography and thermography. Have a look to hear what they have to say.

Are Mammograms the Best Breast Cancer Test?

superadmin , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.”

To read the full article click here.

Breast Thermography- A Responsible Second Look

superadmin , , , , , , , , , , ,

Breast cancer and other breast diseases have become a tremendous issue in women’s health today, particularly in advanced industrialized nations. Also note that approximately 1,000 men get breast cancer yearly.

A procedure which has gone largely unnoticed is Breast Thermography, also known as Breast Thermal Imaging. Breast thermography promises the opportunity of earlier detection of breast disease than has been possible with breast self examination, physician palpation, or mammography.

The medical community investigated breast thermography quite extensively during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The FDA approved the procedure as an adjunctive tool in breast cancer screening, and many physicians, concerned about the radiation exposure of mammography, began to promote thermography as a replacement for mammography. This was error.

Basics of Thermal Imaging

Thermography is a non invasive test. This means that it sends nothing into your body. In fact, there is no contact with the body of any kind, no radiation and the procedure is painless.

Utilizing very sophisticated infra-red cameras and desk top computers, thermal imaging technicians simply capture a photograph of the breasts. An infra-red photograph, or heat picture. The data is stored in a computer and then can either be printed on high resolution color printers, or sent electronically to a physician with a similar computer for analysis.

The physician, such as a radiologist or thermal imaging specialist, then compares the heat patterns in the left breast to the right breast. Any difference in heat, or any specific blood vessel patterns in one breast that do not appear in another indicate a physiologic abnormality. This may be pathological (a disease) or it might indicate an anatomical variant. When a thermogram is positive, the job of differential diagnosis begins.

This is all that thermal imaging, or thermography provides. A physiologic marker that some abnormality is present in the breast. Nothing more and nothing less. This is however, an extremely valuable and important finding, but it has historically been the interpretation of these findings that has been the problem, and is now the subject of the “responsible second look”.

Competition Paradox with Mammography

Scientists and health care researchers have been looking for many decades at tools that can identify breast cancer reliably and quickly. It takes years for a tumor to grow, and the earliest possible indication of abnormality is needed to allow for the earliest possible treatment and intervention.

Thermography was viewed as a possible early diagnostic tool for cancer. The reason I stated that this was error, is quite obvious, but almost totally overlooked by the clinicians and researchers of the day.

Thermography is a test of PHYSIOLOGY. It does not look at anatomy or structure, and it only reads the infra-red heat radiating from the surface of the body.

Mammography, on the other hand, is a test of ANATOMY. It looks at structure. When a tumor has grown to a size that is large enough, and dense enough to block an x-ray beam, it produces an image on the x-ray or mammographic plate, that can be detected by a trained radiologist. A fine needle biopsy is then generally performed to identify the type of tissue in the mass, to determine if atypical or cancerous cells are present.

We now come to an important point. Neither thermography nor mammography can diagnose breast cancer. They are both diagnostic tests which reveal different aspects of the disease process and allow for further exploration.

The problem has been, that a number of studies were done on patients who had an established diagnosis of breast cancer. These studies were done with thermal imaging, wherein the patient having known breast cancer acted as their own controls.

In other words, the patients cancerous breast was compared thermographically to the patients healthy breast. In nearly every case the cancerous breasts were hotter and had specific patterns of heat mimicking the appearance of blood vessels that suggested 1) cancerous tumors were hotter than surrounding tissue and 2) blood vessels in the vicinity of the tumor were engorged with blood and this produced hotterthermal images than the normal vessels in the opposite breast.

This made complete sense, until the research proceeded to look at younger, and younger women.. It was at this time thermography was viewed as a failure. In a local newspaper article in my home town paper covering my clinic, the caption read “Thermal Imaging…Useful tool or dinosaur in breast cancer detection”.

Here is the problem. Early stage tumors have not grown large enough or dense (thick) enough to be seen by current mammography. When the thermogram picks up the heat from the tumor, a mammogram is performed and often the mass is not detected.

The result of the thermogram is then considered a “False Positive”. The more patients of younger age screened with the so-called false positive, the more suspicion was placed on thermography.

Eventually lobbying efforts at the AMA’s House of Delegates and at Medicare, brought about the removal of thermographic coverage by insurance companies, and the demise of thermography in large measure. This is most unfortunate.

Thermography was viewed as a competitive tool to mammography, a role for which it was never intended. This is a known fact in the community of board certified clinical thermographers. Thermography is complimentary to mammography and an adjunctive tool in the war on breast cancer. We must learn to accept the information these tools bring to us, and use the information to the best management of the patient. You and me.

The Correct Role for Thermal Imaging

This is where the correct utilization of thermographic imaging will demonstrate it’s ability. In the correct model, thermography of the human breast can make a profound and positive impact on breast cancer and other breast disease. Here’s the correct model.

Thermography is a risk marker for breast pathology. This paper is written for the general public and I am not going to burden the reader with a large base of complex studies that have been published demonstrating the clinical utility and reliability of the procedure. Suffice it to say it is overwhelming.

My purpose is to identify the role of thermography. It is actually quite a simple one.

In performing this procedure, which is non-invasive and non-compressive, we can establish a baseline in women as young as 18. Yearly thermographic evaluations as part of a routine annual physical can be performed inexpensively and quickly.

As soon a suspicious (positive) breast thermal examination is performed, the appropriate follow-up diagnostic and clinical testing can be ordered. This would includemammography and other imaging tests, clinical laboratory procedures, nutritional and lifestyle evaluation and training in breast self examination.

With this protocol, cancer will be detected at its earliest possible occurrence, It has been estimated my a number of my colleagues that thermography is correct 8-10 years before mammography can detect a mass.

This is both exciting and frustrating for the clinician and the patient. It is exciting as it gives us the opportunity to intervene long before cancer can grab hold of the body. Cancer is opportunistic. We must find it, or the suspicious signs of its’ presence long before the intervention stage has passed.

On the other hand, it is frightening to uneducated clinicians and patients, and poses quite a dilemma for those rooted in the “wait and see” attitude. It is very difficult to sit in front of a patient and tell them that you have a positive finding with a procedure that suggest the possibility of a terrible disease, and then have no other tools available to confirm or deny the tests correctness.

This is not thermography’s failure. Indeed this is where the scientific and research community has failed thermal imaging.

If one can grasp the simple concept that thermography is detecting the fever of a breast pathology, whether it is cancer, fibrocystic disease, an infection or a vascular disease, then one can plan accordingly. One can lay out a careful clinical program to further diagnose and or MONITOR the patient until other standard testing becomes positive, thus allowing for the earliest possible treatment.

Two other positive benefits of breast thermal imaging have also been proposed by the author at scientific symposia. As a non-invasive low cost procedure, thermography can be made available to two distinct subpopulations:

  1. Patients who are economically deprived and can not afford the cost of mammography.
  2. Patients who are afraid of mammography due to fear of x-ray or breast compression, and thus do not get their recommended mammogram.


The Paradigm Shift

It is my position that the role of thermography is vastly different than it originally was determined to be. We must begin to look at this tool for what it really is. A highly accurate, high yield thermometer, much like the one every physician uses daily to determine the presence of fever.

Numerous studies have been published in the United States, England and France demonstrating that patients in the false positive thermographic group I mentioned earlier, those patients with positive thermograms and negative mammograms who were told the thermography was wrong, were determined by long term follow-up to have developed breast cancer in exactly the location thermography had demonstrated its positive finding 5-10 years earlier.

Thermography’s only error is that it is too right ~ too early. It is our job as scientists, physicians and concerned patients, to identify the appropriate protocols once a thermogram is positive. It is in this capacity that the paradigm must shift.

We have a wonderful and exciting opportunity to at last change the incidence of this horrible disease, by screening younger women utilizing high resolution thermal imaging technology and then placing those women with positive findings into the appropriate lifestyle modification and treatment model which may be able to prevent or minimize not only cancer, but all breast disease.

This is our task.

Article written by William Cockburn, D.C., D.A.B.F.E., F.I.A.C.T