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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in breast thermography

 

This year close to 250,000 women in North America will die from breast cancer. This is not just a mere number; these are our mothers, spouses, sisters and daughters that are afflicted by this disease.  Despite all of the efforts to reduce this tragedy, more and more women and their families are affected by breast cancer today. 

 

Currently the strategy of screening is not enough to protect women from breast cancer.

We need to refocus our strategy; moving from screening to risk assessment. Simply put - screening can only tell us what already happened (detection). Risk assessment, on the other hand, can tell us what is about to happen (prevention). It is a paradigm shift where prevention beats detection all the time.

 

Think about it, if you are heading in the wrong direction concerning your breast health wouldn’t you want to know this at the earliest possible time? 

Yes, every woman should know her risk for breast cancer. 

 

Mammography can be useful as a diagnostic tool when necessary but as a mass screening method it has not been effective. Mammography has been the most controversial test for the past 40 years.  Women have been deceived by the notion that routine mammography screening saves lives. It does not. Numerous long-term studies question the effectiveness of mammography mass screening since cancer is frequently missed or often over-diagnosed. 1. 2. 3. 

Younger women with dense breast tissue along with women with fibrocystic breast condition derive little or no benefit from conventional screening with mammography. Even women over the age of 50 may not benefit from mammography screening since it takes 8 to 9 years or longer for a tumor to grow to a size that is detectable by a mammogram. This is hardly an early detection paradigm that we were led to believe; this is in fact late detection. 

 

I have been advocating for many years that we need a more personalized approach where women can assess their risk for breast cancer.  Once they are able to determine their risk factors they can develop an action plan on how to improve breast health or even reverse the existing trend. Breast Thermography can play a great role in early detection and risk assessment. Breast thermography is non-invasive, radiation-free and a completely safe method that compliments all other types of breast testing modalities. 

 

Breast Thermography evaluates how breasts function and can give an early warning signal that may be life saving. Once the risk level is assessed with breast thermography you can develop strategies of lowering these factors before cancer has a chance to develop. You can also monitor your treatment progress with breast thermography and see if you’re on the right path or if you need to make some adjustments to your therapy. When used correctly, breast thermography can be an indispensable tool in breast health monitoring and over-all breast cancer prevention plans. 

 

Prevention should take precedence over detection. Prevention means not getting cancer in the first place. If we are going to reverse the present trend of the epidemic proportion of breast cancer, we need to come up with a more proactive approach, which needs to become the norm for patient assessment.

 

Take charge of your health today, be proactive and help others to prevent breast cancer NOW!

 

 

1. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1206809#t=article

2. http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.g7773

3. http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/07/20/does-mammography-save-lives-thats-a-harder-question-than-most-think/)

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You might be surprised to know that 50% of women, or as high as 60% of women, of menstruating age will have to deal with fibrocystic breast condition at some point. As the term suggests, the emphasis here is on a condition involving fibrous and cystic breasts. Fibro-adenoma is a very firm, rubbery substance, while cysts are fluid-filled sacs. Both react to hormonal changes, thus effective treatment of fibrocystic condition should involve attending to and balancing hormones. 

The symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition may include: swelling, tingling, thickening, lumps, pain (including a sharp pain or “burning sensation”), tenderness and itching. If you suspect that you have this condition, I highly recommend that you begin taking yearly thermography images and follow up with an ultrasound. Mammography is not an appropriate screening test for those of you with dense breasts; as it is not effective at detecting tumors in high density breast tissue.

Ultrasound testing is the most appropriate for diagnosis of fibrocystic condition while it can differentiate between fluid-filled cysts and dense mass. It can also pick up lesions that are not palpable. Ultrasound is safe for pregnant women, as well as those with breast implants. The disadvantage of ultrasound test, is that it doesn’t image deep inside the tissue, it may not distinguish between surrounding normal and abnormal tissue, it will not pick up micro-calcifications (only a mammogram will do that) and it is operator dependent, meaning that mistakes can be made with poorly trained technicians. 

I highly recommend using thermography for risk assessment, but also as a treatment monitoring of fibrocystic breasts.  In many cases simply using Indole-3-Carbinol, a supplement made from cruciferous vegetables that you can buy over-the-counter can lead to excellent results. With thermography, we are able to identify the problem and then assess the effectiveness of treatment within a few months. 

As some of you may already have had the painful experience of learning, fibrocystic breasts are typically treated by clinical needle aspiration. This may alleviate some of the immediate discomfort, but the technique is quite invasive and, most importantly, the milieu in which fibrocystic breasts thrived remains the same. That is, the underlying cause of cysts and nodules in that breast has not been addressed. Very often, fluid will come back and usually even more cysts will emerge after draining the original ones. You have removed the symptom by draining it but did not remove the cause, thus the body always trying to keep equilibrium of various states will continue to create more cysts and fill them with fluid.

Of course, a long-term solution to this would have to address the cause of this imbalance such as: estrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency, elevated prolactin levels, insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction, iodine deficiency and environmental, dietary and metabolic toxins. Taken together, these variables––and the relations between them––give us a set of causes that are certainly not going to be treated by draining one or two cysts. 

A long-term solution to fibrocystic condition has to start with avoidance of coffee, tea, all caffeinated drinks, chocolate and soft drinks. Anything that contains caffeine will exacerbate fibrocystic breast. I’ve treated many women with fibrocystic breast and I have to say that if you just give up on caffeine alone, 50% of your symptoms will disappear over a period of time. Correct hormone imbalance by taking the measures I suggest in a more detailed article on Fibrocystic Breast Condition, especially making sure that an Anti-Estrogenic Diet becomes part of your everyday life. I also suggest that women supplement with iodine, vitamin A, Vitamin B6, C, E and D if they have fibrocystic issues. If you are taking supplements, a word of advice, you want to make sure you are taking quality vitamins from natural, rather than synthetic sources. 

I also want to single out Magnesium as a hugely underrated mineral, and you should be taking this if you have fibrocystic breast.  Almost anyone can use a little bit of magnesium because most of us don’t have enough. Supplement with Zinc, which is a prerequisite for proper thyroid function. Agnus-Castus (the common name is Vitex) is also a great botanical that helps your own system regulate your estrogen and helps with production of your own progesterone. Primrose-Oil and Castor Oil packs I suggest in cases where breasts become very painful. 

Finally, from a holistic perspective dealing with fibrocystic breasts should also include; balancing hormones, keeping one’s immune system in top form, sleeping well, managing stress, getting exercise and maintaining a positive frame of mind. 

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Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Posted by on in Breast Health

I’m going to start with a bold statement: Breast cancer can be prevented! 

The American Institute for Cancer Research has stated that a third of most common cancers can be prevented. According to their research, 38% of breast cancers per year are preventable. In other words, 88,000 women do not have to get breast cancer. Based on my experience, this number is still very conservative and the real number of preventable breast cancer cases is likely much closer to two-thirds of all breast cancer cases per year. This means that in the US and Canada close to 200,000 women a year can be spared from getting breast cancer. Further, when it comes to colorectal cancer, the official estimate is 50%. It is also estimated that in cases of mouth and laryngeal cancers that 63% of them are preventable. The list of preventable cancers does not end there and clearly shows that most cancers are preventable!

Unfortunately when it comes to cancer prevention, healthcare, and the way it is practiced today, is not effective. The problem is that the current approach concentrates on breast cancer detection rather than breast cancer prevention. Let me explain…

Of course detection is important, however it takes anywhere between eight to nine years and sometimes even longer to detect breast cancer. Therefore what is often talked about, as early detection is not actually early detection. It is actually quite late detection. Further, the media with the help of the medical establishment equate detection with prevention. Women are encouraged to undergo questionable and non-effective screenings with annual mammography, yet as far as prevention goes there is very little that women are offered. Worse, the information on prevention sometimes could be very confusing and even contradictory and thus many women understandably give up on the idea of prevention out of frustration.

With the incidence of breast cancer on the rise women are beginning to consider including breast thermography to their annual breast check-up. Breast thermography is the only breast test that evaluates physiology, i.e. how the breast functions as opposed to all other valuable tests, which only measure the anatomy. It is well documented in medicine that changes in physiology can occur 8 to 10 years before anatomic changes. Breast thermography identifies that physiological change right from the onset. This means that women have the opportunity to initiate a proactive plan leading to breast cancer prevention. 

Appropriate changes in lifestyle, diet, nutrition along with treatment of hormonal and endocrine disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, etc. – all of the above can forestall or even prevent the formation of tumours.

In addition, breast thermography is a perfect tool to be used for risk assessment and can be very useful in monitoring the effectiveness of treatments and their effects on breast tissue. 

My proposal is that we change our focus from breast cancer awareness, which is really mostly fear driven, to breast cancer prevention, which is about empowering women with relevant information that enables them to proactively reduce their risk and incidence of breast cancer. 

Prevention is better than cure

If you follow our Ten Ways to Help Prevent Breast Cancer, you can drastically reduce your chances of dealing with this disease.

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