Anita Capizzi RN, CHC
October is breast cancer awareness month. As a woman I am keenly aware of breast cancer and not just in the month of October. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.
I believe that it is my responsibility to do everything I possibly can for my breast health. Recently, I spoke with Dr. Bruce Rind about breast thermography which is a non-invasive assessment tool used to determine a woman’s risk of future breast cancer.
Dr. Rind said simply that “ a thermogram is preventative and a mammogram is corrective.” Using a weather forecast analogy, he said “ a thermogram tells you what the chance of rain is and if thunder clouds and lightning are developing or if over time the weather is getting better. A mammogram tells you how many inches it has already rained.”
In other words, thermography looks at cancer risk and mammography identifies a problem after it has been there long enough to be visible.
Thermography records the temperature on the surface of the breast by using a digital infrared high resolution camera. This gives the physician a picture of what is going on inside of the breast, with hotter areas being suspect of metabolic and vascular activity. It’s imperative that a high resolution camera is used and that a highly trained physician read the results. A score from 1-5 is then assigned the images with 1 being the best and 5 being the worst with a 90% chance that cancer may already be present. A mammogram would then confirm the suspicion.
I like the idea of looking at breast “health” before it becomes breast “disease”. It gives you a great chance to use treatments, diet and lifestyle changes to improve your score!
None of us knows what is really going on inside of our bodies. Breast thermography allows us to do just that, and not just in October but at any time of the year we choose.