Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Breast Thermography Provides Early Cancer Detection

American Cancer Society (ACS) statistics on breast cancer are shocking. Every three minutes in the U.S., a woman is diagnosed with this dreaded disease, which annually claims the lives of more than 40,000 women.

With the incidence of breast cancer on the rise, women are educating themselves about the option of including a thermogram in their annual check-up. This tool for risk assessment measures thermal emissions emanating from the body, a key indicator of health. Available in this country since the 1960s, it was approved in 1982 as an adjunct to mammography.

Thermography utilizes an infrared camera to take images of the breasts without radiation, compression, pain or side effects. Medical doctors trained in thermology analyze the images and report their findings. This is the only breast test that evaluates pathology physiologically, meaning that it measures the function of the breast and its blood vessels, as opposed to all other available tests, which measure the anatomy looking for tumors and cysts.

Thermography detects the physiologic changes in the breast tissue that have been shown to correlate with cancerous or precancerous states. It is widely acknowledged that cancers need nutrients to maintain or accelerate their growth even in their earliest stages. In order to facilitate this process, blood vessels remain open while inactive blood vessels are activated and new ones are formed, a process known as angiogenesis.

This vascular process causes an increase in surface temperature in the affected regions that can be viewed with infrared imaging cameras. Additionally, the newly formed or activated blood vessels have a distinct appearance that thermography can detect.

A thermogram has a 95 percent detection rate when used as part of a multi-modal approach, using breast examination and anatomic testing. It is particularly valuable because it can be performed safely at age 20, allowing for the detection of early stage breast cancers at their inception. 

Be Well Natural Health Clinic, Colonial Square Office Park, 1032 Goodlette Rd., Naples. 239-307-5616.

Southwest Medical Thermal Imaging and Ultrasound, Sunshine Plaza & Professional Center, 0148 Bonita Beach Rd., Ste. 202, Bonita Springs. 239-949-2011.

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