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Thermography

Breast thermography is an assessment tool used extensively as a first-line screening procedure to monitor breast health. Digital infrared cameras detect abnormal changes in blood circulation, which develop in order to feed solid-mass cancer tumours..

Thermography

Breast thermography is an assessment tool used extensively as a first-line screening procedure to monitor breast health. Digital infrared cameras detect abnormal changes in blood circulation, which develop in order to feed solid-mass cancer tumours. Breast thermography is a complement to mammography, not a replacement for it.

What is Breast Thermography Screening?

Scans are taken of both sides and the front of the torso. Then the client immerses her hands in cold water to cold challenge the body's nervous system, distinguishing normal from abnormal tissue circulation, and the scans are repeated.

During the cold challenge, normal blood vessels show a decrease in heat production as the nervous system causes muscles in the blood vessels to contract to conserve heat. Angiogenic blood vessels, which develop to feed cancer cells, maintain or increase their heat radiation as they do not have muscles in them and so lack normal control from the nervous system.

A highly skilled thermologist reads and analyzes the before and after cold challenge scans and writes a thermology report, which establishes a graded scale of response in the breast tissue.

What About Mammograms?

Mammograms detect structural changes, so a breast tissue lump or mass of a size detectable on X-ray must already be present before a problem is found. The next step is further investigation by ultrasound and then biopsy to diagnose the nature of the lump or mass. Treatment decisions must then be made, but often it's too late to implement preventive strategies. Medical intervention is the norm.

In contrast, breast thermography detects functional changes in breast tissue before tumours form and when they are too small to be detected on X-ray. Breast thermography is particularly useful during early phases of rapid tumour growth that may not yet be detectable by clinical exam or mammograms. Consequently, it has the potential to detect functional problems five to eight years before structural abnormalities can be seen with mammograms.

This early detection of abnormal tissue activity makes breast thermography extremely useful and cost effective as a screening strategy and creates the opportunity to apply non-invasive and preventive therapies. Therapeutic breast massage, dietary changes, homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrient supplements, lifestyle changes such as the type of bra worn, aromatherapy, and emotional counselling are all effective therapies. Working with a healthcare provider who is familiar with infrared thermography will ensure you are advised how to institute changes to improve breast health.

The non-invasive nature of thermography also allows for repeat scans. This improves the ability for your health care provider to compare changes over time and monitor the results of preventive strategies to protect breast tissue.

What Will the Report Tell Your Health Care Provider?

The international standardized grading system used in the report, called the Marseille System of Classification, provides strict criteria for rating breast thermography scans. The scans are reported on a scale of TH-1 to TH-5:

TH-1: normal tissue
TH-2: normal tissue with some metabolic dysfunction
TH-3: atypical tissue with areas not responding to cold challenge and maintaining higher heat areas
TH-4: abnormal tissue activity with areas not responding to cold challenge and maintaining higher heat areas
TH-5: severely abnormal tissue activity with areas not responding to cold challenge and maintaining higher heat areas.

All scans ratings except TH-1 require follow-up with appropriate preventive therapies. Additionally, scan ratings TH-3 to TH-5 require immediate referral for ultrasound and other screening methods along with professional examination.

What to Look For

Ensure the thermography technician taking your scan and the thermologist reading your scan are properly trained and certified by the American Board of Thermology. A cold-water challenge with a second series of scans are essential at each screening. The report you receive should include a colour picture and an explanation of the Marseilles System grading of TH-1 through -5.
Breast cancer represents 26 percent of all cancer in women. Breast thermography allows women to monitor breast tissue health throughout life with no adverse effects. It identifies tissue dysfunction five to eight years before cellular changes occur, giving women the possibility of improving breast tissue function through natural methods and lifestyle changes.

Where Do I Do?

Medical Thermography International
Mobile clinics in locations across Canada
416-440-2599
medthermonline.com

Infrared Breast Imaging Clinic
Bridgewater, NS
902-527-2662
docpierre@yahoo.com

Ville Marie Breast Centre
Montreal
514-933-2778
Info@villemariemed.com

North York Thermography Centre
Toronto
416-636-2916
mostovoya@netscape.net

Acadia Wellness Centre
Calgary
403-301-0123
walesnd.com

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