Thermograms vs MammogramsPosted: January 23, 2012
I would like to share with you some important information I received from my cousin Dr. Frank Lipman, regarding an article written by Dr. Christiane Northrup M.D., a visionary pioneer and beloved authority in the field of women’s health and wellness on “The Best Breast Test”.
I have included in this blog an edited version. If you would like to read the whole article, google Dr. Christiane Northrup – the Best Breast test or visit her website: http://www.drbnorthrup.com.
Going for regular mammograms is what most of us have been told to do. According to Dr. Christiane Northrup “Mammography has been the gold standard for years. Doctors are most familiar with this test and many believe that a mammogram is the best test for detecting breast cancer early. But it’s not”.
Doing a mammogram involves subjecting your breasts to being flattened and irradiated in the hope of finding that they are cancer free, or in the hope of finding any sign of cancer before it is too late. However, every woman I know who has ever endured a mammogram definitely stalls scheduling her next one. There seems to be a very good reason for that. A mammogram is done by flattening a breast between two plates and focusing enough radiation on it to take four films. This is very painful, and this routine of doing four films of each breast every year exposes the breast tissue to one rad (radiation absorbed dose) of exposure. This is risky, especially for pre-menopausal women, whose breast tissue is very sensitive to radiation. Radiation exposure itself can induce the cancer it is used to detect. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, ”mammograms actually do more harm than good. Radiation causes the cells to mutate, and applying the pressure that they do, to get a good film, can actually spread any cells that are already malignant”.
It is ironic that the test women are using for prevention may be causing the very problem they’re trying to avoid in the first place! It’s well known that excessive doses of radiation can increase your risk of cancer. And this doesn’t even touch on the harm done to the body from unnecessary biopsies, lumpectomies, mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and so forth.
A study in The Lancet (the British medical journal) shows that the increase in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) since 1983 is due to the use of mammography.
There is however a painless, non-invasive, safe and effective breast-scanning tool called a Thermogram. It is a form of thermal (infrared) imaging. I am rather surprised that this form of breast screening is not spoken about amongst women. I think it is because very few women know about it. Dr. Joseph Mercola claims that this screening tool is both safe and very effective. Dr. Christiane Northrup points out in her article that ”studies show that a thermogram identifies precancerous or cancerous cells earlier, produces unambiguous results, which cuts down on additional testing – and it doesn’t hurt the body. Isn’t that what women really want? The most promising aspect of Thermography is its ability to spot anomalies years before mammography”.
Dr. Phillip Getson, D.O (www.tdinj.com), a medical thermographer and colleague of Dr. Chrisatiane Northrup, points out that ”cancers, even in their earliest stages, need nutrients to maintain or accelerate their growth, and this is widely acknowledged. In order to facilitate this process, blood vessels are caused to remain open, inactive blood vessels are activated, and new ones are formed through a process known as neoangiogenesis. This vascular process causes an increase in surface temperature in the affected regions, which can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras. Additionally, the newly formed or activated blood vessels have a distinct appearance, which thermography can detect. Since thermal imaging detects changes at the cellular level, studies suggest that this test can detect activity eight or ten years before any other test. This makes it unique in that it affords us the opportunity to view changes before the actual formation of the tumor. Studies have shown that by the time a tumor has grown to sufficient size to be detectable by physical examination or mammography, it has in fact been growing for about seven years achieving more than twenty-five doublings of the malignant cell colony. At 90 days there are 2 cells. At 1 year there are 16 cells, and at five years there are 1,048,576 cells- an amount that is still undetectable by a mammogram.” (At 8 years there are almost 4 billion cells).
Dr. Christiane Northrup goes onto say “ Heat is an indication that inflammation exists, and typically inflammation is present in precancerous and cancerous cells, too. (It’s also present in torn muscles and ligaments as well as arthritic joints, which thermography can also detect) Today, women are encouraged to get a mammogram, so they can find their breast cancer as early as possible. With thermography as your regular screening tool, it’s likely that you would have the opportunity to make adjustments to your diet, beliefs, and lifestyle to transform your cells before they become cancerous. Talk about true prevention. Thermography is a particularly good choice for younger breasts, which tend to be denser. It doesn’t identify fibrocystic tissue breast implants, or scars as needing further investigation. It’s also good at detecting changes in the cells in the armpit area, an area that mammography isn’t always good at screening. Perhaps even more exciting is that a thermogram can help a woman diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) decide, along with her health practitioners, whether she requires aggressive or conservative treatment. If you’ve ever had an unnecessary biopsy or been scared by a false positive result on a mammogram, please consider getting a thermogram and using it in conjunction with the mammogram to figure out your treatment options.
Thermography is very safe – it’s even safe for pregnant and nursing women. It’s merely an image of the heat of your body. Unlike a mammogram, a thermogram does not hurt. The pressure that the mammogram machine puts on each breast when it’s being compressed is equivalent to putting a 50-pound weight on your breast. Don’t be intimidated if you prefer to forego annual mammography”.
Dr. Christine Northrup goes onto say “Thermography is a better technology for all the reasons I’ve already described. Plus it gives results that are unique to you, time after time. Instead of just screening for breast cancer, a thermogram can tell you how healthy your breasts are. But there are some things to be wary of.”
Dr. Getson explains, “To be sure, not all thermographic equipment is the same, nor is every centre backed by qualified, board-certified physicians who are specifically trained in the interpretation of these images. Women (and men) seeking to have infrared imaging should consider the following:
- What is the “drift factor” in the apparatus? Anything over 0.2 degrees centigrade leads to poor reproducibility.
- What are the credentials of the interpreting physician?
- The room in which the study is performed should be free of outside light and the temperature should always be at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, with a proper cooling system in place.
- Make sure the images are marked up (doctors call this “stat”-ed) for future comparison.
- Ask if the studies are read on site or sent by e-mail to a distant interpreter.
- Be sure that the physician is available to explain and discuss all findings.
I opted for thermography and I am so glad I chose that option. I went to the Thermal Health Centre in Pretoria for the Thermal screening. The Thermal Health Centre meets all the criteria Dr. Getson insists upon. I have had 2 thermograms since 2010. I will be going every year. Please be free to call 0123618878 and ask the necessary questions. Another day may be just too late!
Prof. Celene Bernstein C. +27 082 338 8185