By Dr. Carla Garcia
None of us want to subject our breasts to radiation and compression, and yet we are advised to do just that, at least once a year. Mammograms are x-ray pictures of the breasts…or at least the part of our breasts that fit onto the compression plate. In a procedure that men would find barbaric if asked to place their genitals on compression plates for the purpose of screening for cancer… women willingly place their breasts on compression plates that are then squeezed together so that ionizing radiation is passed through the soft tissue of the breasts to create an x-ray image.
When I ask women why they have not had mammograms, the answers vary from: “It is too painful…” to “Why would I want to look for something (like cancer) that I don’t want to find?” There is not a woman out there who hasn’t felt nervous or a little fearful about subjecting themselves to an x-ray of their breasts.
Thermography is a way to image the breasts that does not involve compression or radiation. There is absolutely no pain or radiation from a thermal scan. The images include the area from the collarbone to below the breast tissue. So, the image includes the underarms where we have lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are often involved in breast disease.
Thermography records heat being emitted from the body and converts the temperatures to a colored image that is then evaluated by an M.D. Written reports are sent directly to you and to your doctor if you so choose.
Thermal patterns can reveal areas of heat that may correlate with inflammation, estrogen dominance or lymph congestion. Thermography can identify areas of concern that require further investigation. It provides the opportunity for early intervention and possible prevention of disease.