Who is not informed about the expression, “early detection is the greatest prevention?” We hear this term throughout the entire year and most everyone is acquainted with this “catch phrase” as it pertains to breast cancer. Clearly, a female’s chance for survival improves when a cancer is found early. We hear that simple rhyming statement but are women really offered early detection?
Our “gold standard” for breast cancer screening is mammography, self breast exam and clinical breast exam. Additional methods are used but ALL current technologies examine structure; something is formed and big enough to be seen or perhaps felt. However, it is well documented that a mass that is discovered by mammography has been growing for 8 10 years before it was detected. Is this early detection?
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There exists a technology that can detect a concern YEARS before a tumor could be seen on X ray or even palpated during an exam and truly offers early detection. This technological innovation has been authorized by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool since 1982 and offers NO RADIATION, NO COMPRESSION AND NO PAIN. For women who are looking for early breast cancer detection, digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) may be of interest.
Historically, DITI fell out of favor shortly after the first debut of its in early 80s. When DITI was first introduced, strict protocols and trained technicians did not exist. Shortly after its first beginnings, DITI fell out of favor as a diagnostic tool in the medical community.
There are very strict protocols both for testing and interpreting. Maybe due to these guidelines, thermography (as with all digital technology) has exploded in its technique and capabilities. Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it to be a picture on a computer monitor. These images are special to the person and remain stable over time. It is due to these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool. Tumors or even other breast diseases measures warmer compared to surrounding tissue and can thereby alert a physician to a problem before a tumor is actually palpable.
Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified thermologists. Thermography isn’t limited by breast density and is perfect for ladies who have had reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, women who refuse mammography, or even girls who want clinical correlation for an already existing issue. Thermography, since it analyzes a developing process, may identify a problem a few years before mammography. As people know, early detection is essential to survival.
DITI has an average sensitivity and specificity of ninety %. A 10x greater risk for cancer is carried by an abnormal thermogram. A persistent abnormal thermogram carries a 22x greater risk for cancer. Thermography, as well as mammography is an individual choice for women. This decision ideally should be made in collaboration between you and the physician of yours. Nonetheless, thermography does not need a physician’s order.