It’s October 1st. A first for a lot of things… my actual first blog post, the first chilly morning, and the first of the month of October. Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM)? I’m happy it’s here, though I wish that the focus wasn’t so much on being aware of breast cancer rather on general breast health and breast health awareness.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society:
– this year an estimated 22,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 5,100 will not survive.
– on average, 62 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day
– on average 14 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every day
– an estimated 200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 55 will not survive
These statistics continue to blow me away. These numbers seem outrageous for a type of disease that has routine screening programs in place for earlier detection. Cancer experts agree that earlier detection is the best method for overall survival. Breast thermography is a tool utilized for early breast health screening. Thermal imaging uses an infra-red camera that has the ability to detect heat patters within the breasts, and differentiates between normal and abnormal, as well as hormonal influence. Breast abnormalities may begin years prior to a palpable lump forming, or an abnormality being able to be viewed on a mammogram, though on a thermogram can be detected by the increased or decreased thermal pattern(s). A thermogram may be the first sign that shows a women her risk for potential development of breast cancer. It has been shown that a persistent abnormal thermogram is the single most important sign of being high risk for the future development of breast cancer. The single greatest risk factor for women for the development of breast cancer is the exposure of their breasts and their bodies to estrogen; especially outside sources or xenoestrogens. For more information on xenoestrogens visit: http://www.hans.org/magazine/1021/Xenoestrogens—Treat-these-chemicals.
You probably want to know what it is and how it works, and I’ll tell you! Thermography is a non-contact, non-invasive, pain free and most importantly radiation-free exam. This screening method is suitable for all ages of women (and men!) and also various shapes, sizes, and tissue densities. Women with implants, cystic, or fibrocystic breasts will have no difficulty, and should have no fear as no compression is required. This screening measure is especially important for women who have previously had cancer, or who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy. We know that the incidence of breast cancer in women under 40 is on the rise, so early breast health assessment and screening is vital. Thermography is approved by the FDA as an adjunctive screening measure, along with breast self exams, ultrasounds, and mammograms. None of these tests are stand-alone as we know that there is not one single method of screening that is able to detect 100% of all breast cancer risk.