Breast cancer strikes fear in the hearts of all women. Most have known someone who has been treated for or worse, has died from the disease. Historically, breast cancer was diagnosed after a woman sought medical attention for soreness or a palpable mass. Annual mammograms have become the “gold standard” for breast cancer screening with the goal of finding tumors while they are still very small. However, in actuality, mammography is a late test. It does not prevent cancer; it detects cancer. The best idea is not early detection; it is not getting cancer at all.
What else can be done?
Thermography, also called infrared breast imaging (IRBI), has been FDA approved for breast screening since 1982. It is painless, non-invasive and uses no radiation. The scan detects thermal patterns not seen by any other tool. It is of particular value to women starting at 40 years of age, a decade before when the American Cancer Society recommends that mammograms begin. IRBI is especially beneficial for women with dense breasts or with breast implants, where mammography is less reliable.
Abnormal cells require a steady supply of nutrients for rapid growth. A process called angiogenesis draws blood vessels in the direction of the atypical cell, rapidly growing cells. More blood flow through the area delivers more heat. The increased temperatures deep within the tissues is transmitted through a process called convection to the surface of the skin where the subtle temperature differences can be detected by infrared scanning.
Skin surface temperature in most persons is symmetrical. A variation of more than 0.3° C from side to side can indicate a problem. A temperature variation of more than 1.0°C detected by infrared scanning is suggestive of the presence of pre-cancerous cells. Most importantly, this finding can be present up to 7 years before a mass is detectable by mammography and up to 10 years before a becomes palpable.
The IRBI procedure
After disrobing to the waist, approximately 15 minutes is needed in a temperature controlled room for the skin to equilibrate to room temperature. An experienced technician performs three scans—front, left and right views—with arms extended over the head. Both hands are then placed in cool water for exactly one minute. When the sympathetic nervous system is chilled, normal vessels constrict; abnormal vessels stay the same or dilate. A second set of scans is taken immediately taken for comparison. It is our position that a scan that does not include a cold stress challenge is an incomplete test. Temperatures differences between the first and second scan are part of the final report. When the scans are completed, the exam is over.
Interpretations are given a risk value, with scores ranging from TH1 to TH5, with TH standing for “thermal”. The experts who review and interpret the scan include many risk factors in the assessment. If an abnormality is identified, pro-active steps can be taken and the progress of the program can be monitored with serial scans. Additional blood, urine or saliva tests may be recommended to assess iodine level, nutrient and hormone imbalances along with exercises and life-style coaching to help your body heal.
Basic recommendations include start with the following:
- Diet: Eliminate caffeine, chocolate, MSG, aspartame, and herbs that have estrogenic properties, especially non-fermented soy. Studies found that soy supplements can increase breast cancer risk, especially in post-menopausal women. In addition, eat organically grown foods as much as possible. Pesticides collect in fatty tissue, and the breast can become a reservoir for estrogenic chemicals. Limit alcohol as it depletes folic acid, a known risk factor for breast cancer.
- Exercise: Walking and arm swinging will get the lymphatics moving. Decongesting breast tissue reduces risks.
- Supplements: Many have an effect on healing the breast tissue. The two basics for our IRBI patients are DIM PLUS, Calcium-d-Glucarate, and Vitamin D.
For women who are young, at high risk, have dense breasts, have breast implants or simply want to be more proactive about breast health and breast cancer prevention, a digital IRBI scan is the way to go.
IRBI is Redefining the Meaning of Early Detection
All present information, data, and material contained, presented, or provided herein is provided for general information purposes only. It reflects the compiled efforts and opinions of the author. It is not intended to be, nor is it construed to be, legal advice or specific medical advice.
The information presented reflects the author’s opinions at the time of the presentation. Some information will change over time, as new research, data and information becomes available. Updates and possible corrections will be discussed and relayed through seminars, the website, and other forms of general communication. The author assumes no responsibility for updating information that may modify any information presented herein.
The decision of whether or not to obtain a mammogram and/or a thermogram is an important and complex issue. The decision should be made by the patient in consultation with a health care provider and one’s own conscience. Decisions regarding breast health programs – mammograms, thermograms, nutraceuticals, etc –are yours alone, and Dr. Tenpenny is not responsible for any consequence of those decisions.
Neither Dr. Tenpenny, Tenpenny Enterprises, nor any healthcare practitioners at Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center are responsible for the health care consequences of any information herein or other information produced and distributed by Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center.