The most commonly used tool for detecting breast cancer nowadays is the mammogram. This tool provides the women around the world with the opportunity to get tested every one or two years as they enter later adulthood and thus detect breast cancer as early as possible.
However, even though the use of mammograms is encouraged by doctors, everyone should know that mammogram testing is not harmless. Actually, some medical experts think that mammograms are so dangerous as to even promote the development of cancer, because of the heavy amounts of ionizing radiation these devices use. By exposing yourself to a single mammogram testing you expose your body to the same quantity of radiation as 1,000 chest X-rays, which equals about three chest X-rays a day for an entire year, a quantity which surely gives one a pause if seen from that perspective.
Indeed, according to top cancer expert Dr. Samuel Epstein, “The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening.”
More importantly, mammograms an almost negligible ability to prevent cancer deaths, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. A September 2010 study found that mammograms only reduced cancer death rates by .4 deaths for every 1,000 women who received annual testing for 10 years, which means that only 1 breast cancer death was averted per 2,500 women.
Luckily, there is a safer, more accurate option, although many doctors don’t even mention it. Thermography is a technology which measures the heat in your body to detect possible inflammation, without relying on radiation. This scanning method is safe even for nursing and pregnant women. It can detect cancer years before mammography or any other method, as precancerous and cancerous cells are first characterized with inflammation before any visible growth can be detected by mammography.
A research conducted on women who did regular thermogram screenings over a decade, showed that an abnormal thermogram scan is 10 times more accurate measure for breast cancer risk than family medical history. Moreover, it also discovered that this method was the 1st detector of breast cancer for 60 percent of women who developed it.
“Since thermal imaging detects changes at the cellular level, studies suggest that this test can detect activity 8 to 10 years before any other test. This makes it unique in that it affords us the opportunity to view changes before the actual formation of the tumor. 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,” according to Dr. Phlip Getson, who has used medical thermography since 1982.
Thermograms are way better when it comes to predicting the disease, but they are also much more accurate, as they are less likely to produce false positives. This is not the case with the mammograms. Mammograms are known for their false positive rate of six percent, meaning that it is a fairly regular occurrence, and this is likely to occur at least once for the greatest part of women who undergo annual or biannual screenings. This leads to additional mammogram screenings, which, on the other hand, leads to even heavier exposure to radiation, and what is even worse, to unnecessary surgeries.
To sum up, thermography is accurate and safe, non-invasive method. This method is normally used in the thermography testing centers in most of the major cities. Even though insurance does not typically cover this type of examination, it is relatively cheap – it costs approximately $250. Every person, regardless of their age, should take an annual thermography screening with this ultimate check-up tool.