Again, we strive to convey accurate and reliable information regarding what thermography can detect and how it is best utilized as a tool for monitoring breast health.
In this edition, we address some of the Frequently Asked Questions.
If a tumor is not active, dormant, or not exhibiting any temperature differentials does that mean it’s not significant and I won’t need to do anything?
Cancer is unpredictable and it wouldn’t be prudent to make such a far-reaching assumption. The truth is we don’t know that it isn’t significant. We encourage you to talk to a medical practitioner about what options there are regarding this finding.
If a tumor is established, would this been seen in a mammogram?
Older, more established tumors can be radiographically dense and therefore have a higher chance of being seen by a mammogram. However, there is no test that has 100% detection rate. On average, mammography will miss 1 in every 6 tumors.
If I’ve had annual mammograms and they were all negative, would it be okay if I don’t have any more? (Then I could just use thermography annually)
Understand that mammography’s biggest limitation as an effective screening tool is breast density. As we age, breast density diminishes and the effectiveness of mammography would possibly increase. Although you may have had a negative mammogram several years ago, your breast density may have changed in such a way that what was difficult to see previously is now easier to visualize. This would likely increase the effectiveness of detection of tumors possibly not seen thermographically.
There has been a lot in the news about Stage 0 (DCIS) breast cancer not actually being a malignancy, can DITI see this type of breast cancer?
We actually have written about this research finding in another edition of our newsletter titled: The Dilemma of Stage 0 – DCIS. (http://phs-thermography.blogspot.com) and we understand the concern about this type of finding. DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ is a small pileup of abnormal cells in the lining of the milk duct. You cannot feel it because there is nothing to be felt; there is no lump. But the cells can be seen in a mammogram, and when a pathologist examines them, they can look like cancer cells. The cells have not broken free of the milk duct or invaded the breast. And they may never break free. The lesion might go away on its own or it might invade the breast or spread throughout the body. That raises questions about what, if anything, to do about it.
It is often called Stage 0 cancer, but researchers say their view of cancer is changing. They used to think cancers began as clusters of abnormal cells, and unless destroyed, the cells would inevitably grow and spread and kill. Clusters of abnormal cells like DCIS can sometimes disappear, stop growing or simply remain in place and never cause a problem. The suspicion is that the abnormal cells may be harmless and may not require treatment. But no one has done a rigorous study comparing outcomes for women who get treatment to those who get no treatment. From a thermography perspective: Again, because all cancers behave differently, we may not see any changes on your thermogram, especially if the cells stop growing or remain in the milk duct and not develop further. For more information specific to Stage 0 – DCIS, visit our blog and scroll down to our post October 2015. (http://phs-thermography.blogspot.com)
Can I have a thermogram every other year?
Preventive screenings are best utilized annually for comparative studies to help determine your “trend” over time. Are you trending toward inflammation and away from health? Our interpreting thermologists make this statement with respects to thermograms: Annual screening is the optimal time frame in ascertaining personal variants and reducing the chance of false-negative thermal findings. False-negative thermal findings may occur when the study interval is more than one year as the human body may have accommodated or encapsulated cancer cells and in that case, the developed cancer has become thermographically ‘silent.’
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to look at all the data, talk to your doctor and decide what the best plan is for you. See chart below.
Earlier detection may lead to earlier diagnosis and possibly more treatment options. Ideally, it would be best to optimize breast health and prevent the advancement of disease.
Brenda and Lynda Witt