About 2 1/2 years ago, after I had moved to the Philadelphia area and skipped a year for my yearly mammogram, I went to the local hospital for the distasteful and painful squashing of my breasts. (The only place I like squash is on the kitchen table!) Because I have dense breasts, the results were not clear and I had to return for “spot compression,” when my breasts were even more painfully squashed, almost beyond recognition. Then I had a sonogram, because the shadow on my breast was still inconclusive. By this time, I was close to painful hysteria.
Finally, I said “Enough!” and went to a breast specialist who took an MRI (also invasive, but I decided to finish this saga with proof) and my breasts were fine. Whew! The doctor agreed I was not a candidate for mammograms, because of the density of my breasts. (In Europe, no pre-menopausal woman has mammograms because of their dense breasts, making the mammogram a poor screening tool. My breasts may be sagging, but their density qualifies them as “youthful.”)
I now go to Dr. Pamela Howard every year. She is certified to take a picture of my body, including my breasts, using Medical Thermal Imaging or Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI), shortened to Thermography. It is non-invasive and painless. (See article below by Dr. Howard.) It is an FDA accepted alternative to mammograms, both of which are screening tools, NOT diagnostic tools. If you would like more information on Thermography, feel free to contact Dr. Howard. Contact information is at the end of her article.
Photo of Dr. Pamela Howard with her thermography “camera.”
Breast Screening Doesn’t Have to be Painful!
By Pamela Howard, DC, CCT
We’ve all heard the information provided by the American Cancer Society stating the chances of a woman having breast cancer some time during her lifespan as 1 in 8. We’ve all been told to have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40. What is not so well know is that breast screening doesn’t have to be painful any more!
That’s right, Medical Thermal Imaging or Thermography, as it is also called, is a non-invasive screening tool which measures the skin surface temperature in order to detect subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries. These asymmetries are used as
a biomarker for which further studies can be done to determine the exact cause of the asymmetry.
Think of it this way: When you are sick and you suspect you have a fever, you put a thermometer in your mouth for verification. Armed with this information, you proceed to give your Health Care Provider this information along with other signs and symptoms, which will help to determine a diagnosis. Having a Thermography study can be used in the same way, and armed with the information on various abnormal heat patterns, your Health Care Provider can look further for causes and detect areas of concern long before signs and symptoms may appear.
In the case of detecting Breast Cancer, Thermography can be used to detect the increased heat generated from the formation of new blood vessels that feed the tumor. The increased heat generated by the tumor’s abnormal cell growth can be detected as early as the two-year stage, when there are approximately 256 cells, instead of waiting for a mammogram to detect it at the eight-year stage, when there are over four billion cells. The faster a tumor grows, the more heat it generates. For younger women in particular, this can lead to earlier detection and ultimately, longer life.
Women of all ages can be screened using Thermography. Thermography is an entirely safe means of screening: non-invasive, no body contact, no radiation and FDA approved since 1982. Since Thermography is measuring the skin surface temperature, it is not dependent on the density of a woman’s breast and can be safely performed regardless of implants or surgeries.
When looking for a Thermographer, verify that the person performing the scan is a Certified Clinical Thermographer and that the interpretation is done by a Licensed Medical Doctor who is Board Certified in Thermography. In addition, the interpreting Doctor should be part of a centralized interpretation service in order to recall images for comparison purposes.
For more information on Thermography, call Advanced Thermal Imaging at 1.866.522.3484, or visit the web site at www.Athermalimage.com. Advanced Thermal Imaging services are performed by an all female staff of Certified Clinical Thermographers utilizing the centralized interpretation services of Electronic Medical Interpretations, EMI, comprised of Licensed Medical Doctors who are Board Certified in Thermography. Advanced Thermal Imaging is based in Carlisle, PA with satellite locations throughout Central PA, Upstate NY, Vienna, VA and Chesapeake Beach, MD.
Bio: Dr. Pamela Howard, DC, Certified Clinical Thermographer; owner of Advanced Thermal Imaging. Dr. Howard’s focus on women’s wellness and nutrition has progressed into dedicating her time to providing a safe, non-invasive means of detecting health concerns utilizing Thermography. She provides her clients with references and resources that will elevate their understanding of their present health and empower them in their search for better health.
I receive a full report within days of my screening, including the “colored” pictures of my breasts. Dr. Howard takes several views of my breasts within the privacy of curtains. The whole procedure is less than 30 minutes and I see the preliminary pictures on her computer before I leave. In this photo, Dr. Howard is displaying on her computer one of the colored pictures using the tool of thermography. It is such a simple procedure that it is the easiest of all my medical appointments.