by Dr. Carla Garcia, D.O.M.
Thermography detects the heat emitted from the body and that includes heat emitted by breast tissue. In general, heat is usually an indication for inflammation and inflammation is physical stress. An area of inflammation anywhere in the body is not consistent with healthy tissue. So, we can assume that more heat than is normal in our breasts is an indication for “stress in the breast”.
Heat in the breasts may be an indication for inflammation, lymphatic congestion, estrogen dominance or for vascular circulation that is often seen in pre-cancerous tissue. Cancerous tumors recruit a blood supply to feed themselves. The accompanying heat that new blood vessel growth creates can be imaged with thermography and is often seen long before something is visible on a mammogram or ultrasound. Heat cannot be imaged with a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI.
In an article entitled “Does Stress Cause Breast Cancer” (http://tinyurl.com/y3qskkrl), it is suggested “that being under stress may double a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer”. Different people experience stress in different ways. Stress is defined as the inability to cope with a threat (real or imaginary) to our physical, emotional and psychological well-being. From this definition we know that everybody is under stress. AND it is not the amount of stress that determines if we get sick; but how we perceive or deal with that stress. Some people are better at “chilling out”, than others.
Thermography is a great way to visualize breast stress. Imaging heat in the breasts provides us with information we can act upon. If there is lymph congestion, we can avoid underwire bras, antiperspirants (with aluminum) and do some gentle breast massage. If we are estrogen dominant, we can try some topical progesterone. If we have inflammation, we can take steps to reduce inflammation. If there is concern for developing cancer, we can make changes before major treatment is required.