Last week, the American Cancer Society changed their recommendations on how often and at what age women should obtain mammograms. Many contend that this less aggressive approach is a reflection of the actual efficacy of mammograms, including the fact that they often lead to false positives.
When I turned 40 earlier this year, my own doctor said there was really no reason, meaning no evidence in my health history or family's health history, that led her to believe I would be a good candidate for a mammogram before the age of 50. Even then, she cautioned, in her experience, they were not all that reliable at early detection.
Given the confusion around the ACS's guidelines, what are we women to do? Is there an alternative? While the FDA has said thermal imaging is not approved for cancer detection screening, it has approved the method as what it calls an adjunct method. Thermal imaging uses infrared images of the body to detect abnormal or irregular blood flow. Often it is used to detect inflammation in the body. From this standpoint, thermal imaging may be a good idea for some people seeking to understand the whereabouts of inflammation in their own bodies.
I recently talked with M.J. Holt of Thermal Imaging of SoCal and asked her to share with you what Thermal Imaging is, how long it's been available as a medical device, and how it compares to mammography.
Here is what M.J. shared, in her own words:
Clinical Thermography is a simple test of physiology that relies on the sympathetic nerve control of skin blood flow and the ability of the sympathetic nervous system to respond to and react to pain, pathology, injury or dysfunction anywhere in the body.
Many think that thermography is a new technology or have never even heard about thermography at all. Thermography has a long history. Breast thermography was discovered in 1956 in Montreal, Canada and rapidly became popular throughout the world. It was FDA cleared and then certified by the American Medical Association as an adjunctive screening procedure for breast cancer in 1982.
Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or Thermography is often "compared" to other modalities such as Mammography. The fact is, Thermography cannot be compared to Mammography because they are looking at two completely different things in the body. Thermography looks at the physiological parts of the body (the tissue) and Mammography looks at the anatomical parts of the body (skeletal or structure).
I wish for everyone to know that medical thermal imaging exists. I wish for our MD doctors to give the patients the option of non-invasive early detection. I want all women to know that one mammogram is equal to 1000 (one thousand) chest xrays of radiation. I want men to know that if you have placqueing in your mouth you probably have placqueing in your heart. And that there is early, non-invasive detection for prostate cancer. Men and women to know that DITI can see what is going on now, that you can prevent something from ever getting worse. Don't wait for symptoms!