Breast Thermography

Dr. Natalie Yahle DC, CCT received her training and certification through the IACT – International Academy of Clinical Thermography. Visit http://www.iact-org.org/ for more information on the IACT.

  • About Thermography at the Back to Health Center
  • Our Equipment
  • Preparing For Your Thermography Appointment
  • Beating Breast Cancer Article
  • Utilization of Clinical Thermology

Do Annual Mammograms Actually Save Lives?

A Canadian study tracked more than 90,000 women for 25 years and found that having an annual mammogram between the ages of 40 to 59 did not lower their chance of dying from breast cancer any more than having a physical examination.

They also concluded:

  • 22% of invasive breast cancers were overdiagnosed
  • Annual mammograms led to unnecessary procedures on cancers that were too small to need treatment
  • The rate of overdiagnosis may even be higher than studies have found
  • Screening guidelines may be too much, and should be reconsidered

Read the full study.
Watch the CBS News report.

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny Weighs in on Thermography:

Instead of shelling out billions of dollars every year into creating more drugs to “cure” breast cancer, why not investigate more methods of PREVENTION?

Watch this: The Truth Behind Breast Thermography

 The Best Breast Test: The Promise of Thermography

Christine Northrup, MD

“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 25 doublings of the malignant cell colony. At 90 days there are two cells, at one year there are 16 cells, and at five years there are 1,048,576 cells–an amount that is still undetectable by a mammogram”…read more here.

GMO’s, Pesticides & Cancer

Breast Thermography in women is ranked on a scale of TH1 (normal image without vascularity) – TH5 (very abnormal). Over time, the incidence of TH1 and TH2 has steadily declined while the occurrence of TH3 (questionable but not abnormal) has risen. It was hypothesized this was likely due to increases seen in dietary soy and environmental xenoestrogens which created atypical cells in the breast and may exploit the added blood supply. While this theory still stands, new evidence is emerging which also links GMO (genetically modified foods) and pesticides to the higher scores.

A recently published study in food and chemical toxicology shows strong evidence that GMO foods, especially combined with pesticides, causes cancer. According to Dr. William Amalu DC, DABCT, DIACT, FIACT, “Many of these pesticides have been found to have powerful estrogenic effects. So much so that the sex of fish, alligators, and other aquatic animals are being altered to female when rain runoff takes these pesticides into lakes. The pesticides are powerful endocrine disrupters…The breast is being bombarded by so many outside estrogen sources that it makes sense that we are seeing what we are seeing. Keep in mind that these xenoestrogens have an affinity for fat tissue and can build up in the fat tissue over time. I now understand why so many women over 50 are showing thermograms that have the vascular appearance of pregnancy, and sometimes lactation!” (2012, Oct 2 email to me)

Gilles-Eric Seralini. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Sept 19, 2012; Accessed Oct 2, 2012. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512005637

Breast Cancer by the Numbers

  • In 1960, one in 20 women were diagnosed with breast cancer- today, it is one in 7
  • 80% of breast lumps are non-cancerous
  • 70% of breast cancers are found through self-exams
  • Radiation from 1 mammogram can be equivalent to 1,000 chest x-rays
  • Mammograms reduce cancer rates by only 0.4 deaths per 1,000 women
  • 30% of breast tumors go away on their own

Dr. Mercola, Joseph. Your Greatest Weapon Against Breast Cancer (Not Mammograms). March 3, 2012; Accessed March 14, 2012. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/03/experts-say-avoid-mammograms.aspx

Breast Awareness for Younger Women

Women are recommended to start getting mammograms at 40. But did you know that 15% of all breast cancers occur in women under the age of 45? Younger women are in the dark about the need to be proactive when it comes to their breast health. Monthly self-examinations should start at the age of 20. It’s important for a woman to know what her normal tissue feels like and changes that occur. The best time to perform a self-exam is 2-3 days after your menstrual cycle. This way the breasts are less swollen and tender.

Thermography is also another tool that a woman under 40 should include in her breast health habits. There are no contraindications with the use of thermography including age, pregnancy or lactation. There is no radiation and no compression.

Toxic effects of mammograms are becoming more acknowledged as a significant factor in the development of breast cancer. According to Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s top cancer experts, “The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each radiation exposure increases the breast cancer risk by 1%.” In fact, one mammogram is equivalent to 1,000 chest x-rays! This ionizing radiation can contribute to mutations and changes in cells that can lead to breast cancer.

Dr. Mercola, Joseph. “Your Greatest Weapon Against Breast Cancer (Not Mammograms)” [Online]. March 3, 2012. Accessed March 8, 2012. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/03/experts-say-avoid-mammograms.aspx.

Can breast cancer screening programs be justified?

Mammography screening: truth, lies, and controversy, from Radcliffe Publishing, provides data of the investigation of breast screenings for the women of the UK during a span of 10 years. The author, Peter Gotzche, director of Nordic Cochrane Collaboration, concludes that screening advocates are financially motivated, tend to inflate the benefits and discount the harms, and talks about the consequences of overdiagnosis. A few repercussions from breast screenings Gotzche mentions are:

  • cancerous cells which would go away or not cause harm are removed anyway with surgery
  • 6 times in 10 a woman will lose a breast
  • screening saves 1 life for every 2,000 but will harm 10
  • half of all breast cancers are found between screenings

Boseley, Sarah. “Breast cancer screening cannot be justified, says researcher.” The Gaurdian. January 23, 2012. www.guardan.com.uk

Is the push for mammograms due to fact or dogma?

Dr. George Lundberg, Editor in Chief of Medscape General Medicine, the first and only online, peer-reviewed primary source general medical journal published on Medscape, is suggesting physicians stop pushing mammograms. His doubts are sparked by a lack of evidence over a large period of time, biased scientists and physicians who have conflicts of interests, and the controversial recommendation for women between the ages of 40-50 getting mammograms.

Recommendations for mammograms have become routine in the physician’s office once a woman reaches the age of 40. Is the push for mammograms due to the patient’s best interest or has it become an accepted trend? It is best for a patient to become well informed of all of her options.

Dr. Lundberg, George. “Stop Pushing Mammograms Now.” Medpage Today November 01, 2010. www.Medpagetoday.com. Accessed on February 1, 2012.

Thermography & Pregnant or Lactating Women

From Tracey Merkle MS-

The subject of thermography came up during a recent meeting of a breast feeding group I belong to. One member responded very negatively about the use of thermography, citing articles from the FDA, Science Based Medicine and PubMed (article links are below).

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm257633.htm

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/dr-christiane-northrup-and-breast-thermography-the-opportunistic-promotion-of-quackery/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22426613

I have a few comments regarding the use of Thermography and its role in breast health, particularly as it applies to this group. Thermography is particularly useful in the pregnant or lactating woman where mammography may be contraindicated. I do agree with most of the statements in the FDA article, thermography is no mammography and vice versa. Thermography detects the physiology. Mammography detects structure. Note that “detects” is italicized because I want to emphasize that neither screening tool prevents nor diagnoses breast cancer. Neither should be used as a stand alone screening tool for breast cancer. If a mass is found in either screening and the client wants a definitive diagnosis, they must go a step further and biopsy or completely remove the mass, then do a microscopic exam.

There are benefits and limitations to both screening methods. I believe people are moving to a much more conservative use of mammograms. There are real concerns about radiation exposure and the health issues associated with radiation exposure. Thermograms can be used on younger women with dense breast, pregnancy, lactation and those with fibrocystic tendencies. Mammograms are not an effective screening tool for these situations. The thermograms detect heat pattern changes which are caused by inflammation and angiogenesis (new blood supply developing). So, we can see if that “spot” is developing a blood supply or its probably just a calcium deposit or normal for lactating breasts. (We all know how “lumpy” they can be at times.) Cysts and anomalies don’t have that blood supply. While mammography can detect the mass and size of the mass, it doesn’t tell you what the mass is. The thermogram will not tell you what that mass is either, but it does detect angiogenesis. Mammograms don’t detect angiogenic information unless a contrast dye is used which is not routine. It’s the developing blood supply to the “tumor” that’s key.

In the lactating and pregnant clientele, where mammograms are contraindicated, thermograms are an effective screening tool. They pregnant/lactating client needs to explore all of their options and get the full picture before agreeing to any treatment. Before agreeing to any test, they want to know the potential side effects of the test itself and whether the information will be worthy. mammograms should be used if one would consider surgery or radiation. Since the pregnant or lactating woman may not want either treatment option until she’s given birth or completed breastfeeding (or ever in some cases) and with added exposure to radiation, mammography may not be an optimal screening tool in these situations. If a pregnant or lactating woman develops a lump in her breast, Thermography can be a very effective screening tool to aid this particular client in making important treatment decisions.

As for the other articles, a simple Google search will reveal several articles written about the bias and conflicts of interest of Science Based Medicine’s Dr. Gorski. I’ve also read enough research articles in my time to know you have to dig further in the “meta-analysis reviews to see which articles were picked…some may prefer to use the term “cherry picked”, Basically, we take these reviews with a grain of salt.

Before making a decision on the role thermography will play in your health, I encourage you to dig into the 30+ years of research on thermography which comprises 800+ peer reviewed studies, some of which have followed women for more than 12 years. Contact our office for more information about some of these studies. The FDA wouldn’t have approved the technology as an adjunct and we all wouldn’t be out here if there was a lack of evidence. We prove the use of thermography daily.

Kindest Regards,
Tracey Merkle