Inflammation and Gut Health

Sub clinical.  If a finding is “sub clinical,” what does that mean?  Essentially, sub clinical means that “you’re not complaining about it right now.”  Something was seen either through imaging (x-ray, CT, etc) or through blood work (elevated cholesterol, low thyroid function, etc) but you don’t “feel” like it’s a problem.  It didn’t alert you that you needed to see your physician.  It’s sub clinical. 

Inflammation is ALWAYS the initiating factor to an eventual diagnosis.  Thermal imaging is a way to monitor for areas of inflammation in the body.  Inflammation indicates an unhealthy situation and potentially, a future diagnosis.  

What about autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, or Dermatomyositis, to name a few?  Did inflammation contribute to this type of diagnosis?

We know for certain that an autoimmune diagnosis has one commonality:  increased intestinal permeability also known as leaky gut.  A leaky gut leads to inflammation and plays a role in the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease*.  Optimizing gut health is crucial to optimizing health.  

In this month’s newsletter we elucidate the role thermography plays in identifying “sub clinical” inflammation, specifically in the GI system.  Inflammation seen in the gut would allow the client to take immediate steps towards reducing inflammatory patterns in an attempt to not only avoid a diagnosis, but to optimize overall health.

* Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.  The Paleo Approach:  Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body contains multiple references

Below we enumerate five components for a healthy and happy gut followed by some thermographic before/after images of clients’ GI systems.

Five (5) components for gut health:

1. Remove gluten (wheat) from your diet

The standard wheat harvest protocol in the US is to drench the fields with the herbicide, Roundup.  The active ingredient of Roundup, glyphosate, is added to a wheat field several days before harvest causing desiccation of the wheat stalk. This practice then allows the entire wheat field to be harvested at the same time, thereby, increasing the yields.  This practice is banned in several countries but has been an acceptable practice in the United States for the past 15 years.  

Note: The Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom reports that the use of Roundup as a wheat desiccant “result in Glyphosate residues regularly showing up in bread samples.”

Glyphosate disrupts beneficial gut microbes which are responsible for the synthesis of critical amino acids.  These amino acids help maintain a healthy gut lining.  A disruption of the friendly gut bacteria can lead to increased permeability known as “leaky gut.” 

In essence, Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune diseases.  Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide and is suggested to be the key contributor to:  obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, infertility, depression, and cancer. 

We encourage you to click this link to read the full, 26-page report of the relationship between the increased use of glyphosate and the increased incidence of certain autoimmune diseases.

clip_image014September 2013 Thermologist Interpretation:
Thermal activity throughout the upper abdomen has intensified compared to 9-19-2011 and is more extensive towards the right. Hepatic dysfunction is a consideration and laboratory assessment is recommended. Hyperthermia involving the lower pelvis R > L has increased and appears to be lymph related. No finding is evident with regards to the pelvic viscera

Diet prior to June 2010 consisted of fast foods and soft drinks; highly processed foods. This client was not restricting wheat/gluten intake. Thermologist interpretation “inspired” this client to make critical dietary changes. Changes were made, but the gut was slow to respond until client began adhering to a more rigid diet removing all gluten and grains from September 2013 – September 2014.

clip_image016September 2014 Thermologist Interpretation:
Upper quadrant thermal activity has decreased compared to 9-27-2013. Residual thermal activity is evident towards the left and may correspond to the spleen or to the splenic flexure region of the large bowel. No current finding is evident with regards to the liver. Pelvic level thermal activity has largely resolved as well. There is no indication as to current visceral dysfunction. Abdominal region thermal activity has likewise decreased and the recent change in diet may have relevance.

Diet since September 2013 – current: Gluten-free and grain-free diet. Client is now following the Auto-Immune Protocol as suggested by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.

2. Take digestive enzymes

Low stomach acid is a common problem due to increasing age, adrenal fatigue/chronic adrenal stimulation, alcohol consumption, bacterial infection, chronic stress, and certain medications.  Ideally, when food enters the stomach and small intestine, the acidic contents signals the pancreas to release digestive enzymes.  Low stomach acid would cause inadequate release of digestive enzymes resulting in the inadequate breakdown and subsequent malabsorption of micronutrients.  Undigested food in your intestines can then slow the movement of food through your gut leading to inflammation and gut dysbiosis.

3. Add L-Glutamine 

L-Glutamine is an amino acid that’s helpful in healing a damaged gut, and is a key component to helping repair a leaky gut.  Glutamine reduces intestinal permeability and aids in healing the mucosal lining.  In her book, The Paleo Approach:  Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, author Sarah Ballantyne, PhD suggests the use of a non immune-stimulating (non-inflammatory) glutamine supplement called deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) in capsule form. 

Caution: Chewable DGL may contain sugar alcohols or other undesirable ingredients. Capsule form may be a better option.

Search the internet for a good source of DGL or eat glutamine-rich foods such as:

  • Gelatin, unsweetened
  • Grass-fed Bison
  • Sardines and Salmon
  • Spinach, scallions, coconuts and dates

4. Probiotics, probiotics, probiotics

Critical to gut restoration and bringing balance to your GI system requires adequate intake of high-quality probiotics. 
Adding probiotics to your diet can be achieved through supplementation or by adding lacto-fermented vegetables and lacto-fermented drinks to your diet.  Fermenting vegetables was once how food was preserved before refrigeration was available.  The fermentation process allows the growth of favorable Lactobacilli bacteria to flourish and grow.  The process of lacto-fermentation happens when the starches and sugars within the vegetables are converted to lactic acid by the friendly bacteria lactobacilli.  The lactic acid acts not only as a preservative for foods, but also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the GI tract.

If you are interested in making your own lacto fermented vegetables or want to learn how to make other probiotic-rich recipes, click this link to learn more and sign-up for free e-books about fermentation.

5. Relax

Stress is damaging to the GI system, and anyone suffering from a poorly functioning GI tract would benefit from learning various stress-management techniques. This will help get the gut back into better balance.  Meditation, yoga, prayer are a few suggestions but relaxation can also include a walk outdoors, talking to a psychotherapist or developing an appropriate hobby (knitting, reading, etc). 

therm3 therm4 Thermologist Interpretation (March 2011)
There are irregular areas of hyperthermia over the ascending, transverse and descending colons, which suggest inflammation and raise the question of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).These findings may relate to the reported intestinal issues. The thermal findings over the abdomen suggest colon dysfunction.


therm5 therm6 Thermologist Interpretation (June 2011)
The previously-noted irregular areas of hyperthermia over the ascending, transverse and descending colons, which suggest inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), have decreased in intensity.

Although the differences in the images above don’t seem significantly different, this represents only a three-month interval of time after making dietary changes.  

It has been said that 80% of your immunity begins in your GI tract.  Being willing to make dietary changes to optimize gut health is critical to achieving and maintaining overall optimal health.  Eliminating gluten is only the first step.  Restoring your GI system with nutrient-dense foods rich in active enzymes, L-glutamine, and healthy probiotics is also required.  And finally, managing life stressors effectively and healthily is certainly a key component to better overall health, too.
Thermal imaging is a tool that can visualize current GI health and monitor for improved thermal patterns after dietary modifications.  Unmanaged (or sub clinical) inflammation is a precursor to a problem in the future.

In health,

Brenda and Lynda Witt

Is Your Diet Pro – Inflammatory?

Happy 2015!
A new year offers us an opportunity to examine parts of our life that we wish to be different. For most of us, we look for ways to bring healthy habits into our life while eliminating (or reducing) the “less-than-healthy” choices. We encourage the adoption of vibrant lifestyle choices that bring balance and energy to our lives. We also believe that the best way to do this is to focus carefully on food. 

The following recommendations are made to help reduce inflammation. As we’ve said many times before, inflammation is the root cause of disease. Consistently reducing the inflammation in your body is truly one of the most protective habits you can take on that will help improve overall health.

1. Sugar consumption

Of all the dietary culprits, refined sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup is likely the pinnacle molecule that destroys health. Sugar is pro-inflammatory. The average American eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar each day in the form of added sugar.

Common sources of added sugar include: beverages/soda, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, and candy

Do you drink soda? Diet soda? Do you consume fruit juices and fruit smoothies? Multiple studies show that these types of beverages will dramatically increase your risk for developing metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 2, and heart disease simply due to the continual exposure of inflammation from these beverages. 

The case report below is a classic example of the inflammatory effects of excessive sugar consumption:

clip_image005 clip_image007 clip_image003
Annual breast thermogram (2004)No thermal changes seen; annual imaging is advised Annual breast thermogram (Dec 2007)Thermal changes in both breasts; client is At Risk for developing pathology. Clinical correlation is advised and repeat thermogram in three months. Breast thermogram (March 2008) Thermal patterns were reported again as stable; client is At Low Risk for developing pathology. Annual imaging is advised.

In the case study above, the only reported lifestyle changes she had made was increased sugar consumption during the holiday season (December 2007). After returning to her usual healthy diet, the thermal patterns did resolve.

2. Processed vegetable oils

If you have not yet viewed the outstanding YouTube video, The Oiling of America, we strongly encourage you to carve out time to do this. 

In this two-hour video, Sally Fallon-Morell (president of the Weston A. Price Foundation) uncovers the truth about the damaging effects of using processed vegetable oils in lieu of “real” fats. Truly, you will be outraged at the “cover-up” of the scientific evidence related to processed fats, saturated fats, and health. 

Saturated fats (mainly, animal fats) were once deemed deadly and portrayed as “a heart attack waiting to happen.” Avoiding coconut meat and coconut oil, also a saturated fat, was also recommended as these too, would surely send you to the hospital with the classic symptoms of a heart attack. As it turns out, the consumption of trans fats(created through a chemical process called partial hydrogenation) has shown to be far-more dangerous and unhealthy than consuming saturated fat. In fact, in 2013 the FDA stated that partially hydrogenated oils (which contain trans fats) are not “generally recognized as safe.” This statement is expected to lead to a ban on industrially produced trans fats from the American diet. (Finally! A good idea from the FDA)

These foods likely contain partially hydrogenated oils/trans fats: some nut butters, crackers, cookies and other baked goods, snack items like potato chips, and salad dressings.

Vegetable oil consumption also leads to a lopsided ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) creates a 1:20 or even up to 1:50 omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio. The ideal ratio of omega 3’s to omega 6’s is anywhere between 1:1 (ideal) and not more than 1:5. Look to add more omega-3’s to your diet through supplementation, such as Moxxor or through eating more wild-caught fish. Although some nuts are high in omega-3 fats, others are a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids. Use your discretion.

Foods rich in Omega 3 fats: Chia seeds, walnuts, ground flax meal, legumes (navy, pinto, kidney beans), and some seafood.

Soybean oil. Soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered. Be cautious of partially hydrogenated (genetically engineered) soybean oil. Any foods with soybean oils, like all trans fats, needs to be completely eliminated from your pantry and cupboards.

3. Wheat and grains

Wheat lectin, also known as wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is the portion of the wheat plant that is responsible for ill-effects related to inflammation in the GI system. All seeds of the grass-family (rice, spelt, rye, corn, oats, millet, teff, etc) contain these gut-damaging lectins leading to chronic inflammation. As we discussed in our December 2014 newsletter, wheat is exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. In essence, Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall, leading to chronic disease.

clip_image014 clip_image016
Thermogram prior to strictly adhering to a gluten-free diet (left) and after. Client also has diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and her antibodies were VERY high. After 3 months with no gluten, her blood work showed her antibodies had decreased by 300 points and her abdominal image has greatly improved along with embedded temperatures showing a positive response to her dietary choices.

4. Eggs and nutrient content

Eggs, like saturated fats, were regarded as unhealthy specifically due to their high cholesterol content and potentially leading to heart disease. According to a 2007 comparative study of nutrient content of eggs from caged chickens vs. free-range chickens and published in Mother Earth News, free-range chickens produced eggs that were higher in vitamin A, contained more omega-3 fatty acids, had three times more vitamin E and up to seven times more beta carotene. The egg yolk of free-range chickens that eat greens is usually bright yellow and sometimes orange in color. Cage-fed chickens fed grains will only produce pale-yellow yolks.



You are in control of your health. A diet that promotes health is…

  • Low in sugar
  • High in healthy fats, rich in Omega 3’s
  • Low in grains
  • All meat and protein sources (such as eggs) need to come from free-range, grass fed animals not exposed to harmful antibiotics.
  • To bring balance to your fatty acid ratio, consider consuming either a rich omega-3 supplement or adding wild-caught fish to your diet.

If you already are aware of these good health practices, consider sending this email to a friend who has made a “resolution” to get healthy. She or he may not be aware of the inflammation they may be adding to their diet by following the typical Standard American Diet. . . and that would be sad!

Reducing inflammation is truly the best way to “get healthy” in 2015 and beyond. 

In health,

Brenda and Lynda

Pop Quiz

We hope to “spring” on our readers a short, but informative, newsletter QUIZ!!!  We believe our clients are very well educated about thermography and this quiz will prove us RIGHT. . .or wrong.  But either way, you may learn something new and/or confirm something you thought you knew.

So, take just a moment to answer these few questions and then check your answers with ours within the body of the newsletter. . .No peeking!!!    

  1. The greatest risk factor for developing breast cancer is
  1. still unknown at this time 
  2. previous history of mastitis or other breast diseases
  3. estrogen dominance
  4. a family history of this disease  
  1. Which statement best describes thermography?
  1. Thermal imaging can show abnormal structure not seen on other tests
  2. Thermal imaging is used to determine stable physiology and then watch for changes over time
  3. Thermal imaging replaces other imaging technologies
  4. Thermal imaging is the best screening for determining if you have cancer anywhere in your body
  1. On average, an active breast cancer tumor doubles in cell number every
  1. 3 months 
  2. 6 months
  3. 9 months
  4. 12 months 
  1. True or false? 
    All women, starting at age 18, have stable breast physiology, can establish a baseline, and then have comparative studies annually
  1. Prior to your thermogram appointment, which of the following things should you avoid?
  1. Lotion, oil, powder, and deodorants over the areas being scanned
  2. Excessive sun exposure to the area of the body being scanned
  3. Tobacco use and consumption of caffeine two hours before your thermogram
  4. Body work of any type (massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc.) or   strenuous workouts
  5. All of the above are things to avoid prior to a thermogram 

    So, here we go!  We start by answering Question #1 with this most sobering news article about the increase in breast cancer diagnoses.

    Sadly, the breast cancer projection is bleak as “the number of U.S. women diagnosed with breast cancer could rise by as much as 50 percent within the next 15 years, according to new government predictions.”  

    According to researchers, the rise in breast cancer tumors will be the ER positive type – those whose growth is fueled by estrogen.  Estrogen dominance is the single greatest risk factor for developing breast cancer in the future. 

    My sister and I have written newsletters in the past about this exact issue.  However, estrogen that our bodies create may not be the concern nearly as much as the xenoestrogens found in our world today.

    Xenoestrogens are “foreign” estrogens that are consumed through environmental means and best defined as “hormone disruptors.”  They act at the same site as natural hormones and exert the same effects of estrogen:  cell growth and increased cell division.
    Xenoestrogens can create an estrogen dominant scenario.  Estrogen dominance is also the greatest risk factor for the development of ovarian and endometrial cancers. 

    Estrogen Dominance, a term coined by John Lee, MD and is defined as any amount of estrogen NOT off-set by an adequate amount of progesterone. As a woman transitions into menopause, progesterone production declines nearly twice as fast as estrogen.  Xenoestrogens are found in foods treated with pesticides and insecticides as well as any products that are petroleum-based.  This list may include:  lotions, soaps, shampoos, hair spray, cosmetics, room deodorizers, solvents, cleaning products and plastics (water bottles, food storage containers, etc). 

    Question #2 deals with common requests my sister and I get. . .all too often.  People will call and ask about using thermography as a replacement for a colonoscopy, mammogram, MRI, CT, etc. and if thermography will let them know if they have cancer anywhere in their body.  

    In a word, NO, thermography cannot replace any other test of structure and is used as an adjunctive tool to aide in diagnosing disease and dysfunction, but does not replace other types of imaging. 

    We hear your cries. . .we understand your concerns about several of these other tests that involve radiation and / or compression and we feel your pain!  However, DITI, a test of physiology does not replace a test of structure. . .and vice versa!  Here is a great link to watch a very short clip explaining DITI, mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs.

    What my sister and I can also offer is this link to help you decide if routine screening with mammography is right for you. This pamphlet explains the harms and benefits and is the most straight-forward accounting of the truth about routine screening for women at average risk.  Please take a moment to read it, download it and share with others.

    DITI is not a cancer screening tool, either, as some would believe.  We have also written about this in the past.  Thermography is phenomenal in the following four areas:

    • Risk Assessment
    • Detection (but not as a stand – alone technology)
    • Prevention / Early Intervention
    • Monitoring Effects of Treatment 

    The best possible use of thermal imaging is first to determine stable physiology and then watch for changes over time that could alert us to early formation of disease or to let us know of high levels of inflammation, hormonal imbalances, dental pathologies, etc.

    The answer to Question #3 is best shown with the help of this chart:

    As you can see, on average, breast cancer cells double in number every 90 days (3 months).The follow up study that is performed at the 3 month mark helps determine if breast physiology is stable and allows for each woman to establish their unique breast baseline.  All annual studies are then compared to this stable baseline to alert women to changes that may warrant further testing.  This time frame is average, but for younger women, the cell doubling rate can be faster.  

    As we learn more about women’s physiology, we have come to understand that breast development is not complete until a woman is in her mid to late 20’s.  So the answer to Question #4: It is not until around age 25+ that a woman can establish a stable breast thermogram.  In 2013, several news outlets (ABC, Fox News, etc) stated that women aged 25-39 was the fastest rising demographic to receive an advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis.   This is most troubling because breast cancer in younger women tends to be faster growing with lower survival rates than older women. 

    Thermography only sees heat and watches for changes over time.  Chances of seeing a developing pathology at an early stage through emitted heat can only be seen with DITI.  So there would be value in beginning screening at this early age.  As a tumor begins to develop, heat patterns may be detected that can alert us to a serious pathology at an earlier stage of development.  

    However, not all tumors have a heat signature associated with them and if that is the case, we won’t see its development thermographically at any stage of growth.  All women, of any age, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer if she is estrogen dominant.  

    We believe that the prudent, protective, and preventative approach would be to begin screening thermographically at this young age BUT to also be evaluated annually for estrogen dominance.  Young women who are found to be estrogen dominant, with naturally high(er) estrogen levels and higher metabolic rates make it likely that tumors in these women will double at a much faster rate than the average.  And if breast cancer develops, it tends to grow rapidly as the estrogen fuels an ER positive tumor.  It is because women of this age are NOT screened (nor are they warned and monitored for estrogen dominance), that if breast cancer is found, it is usually in an advanced stage.

    Lastly, we come to Question #5 regarding what to avoid prior to your thermogram.  Basically, option E is the correct answer and all items listed as possible answers are what need to be avoided.

    So, how did you do?  How many did you get right out of the 5 questions?  Please reply with your score!  We promise NOT to post it in our next newsletter! 

    Yours in health,
    Brenda and Lynda

Happy Summer!

We hope all our readers and clients are enjoying the lazy days of summer!

While we can’t say things are too much slower for us during this time of year, we are very grateful for the growth we’ve experienced in both California and Arizona.

We send out our deepest, heart-felt THANK YOU to all our clients, referring practitioners and those who support us via word of mouth, forwarding of newsletters, etc.  We are so very blessed and incredibly grateful!

Brenda had a wonderful response to the last newsletter where she shared her story about her health challenges and ultimate diagnosis of juvenile diabetes.  Her story is not all that rare and unfortunately we have people who see us that explain a very similar account of how they were diagnosed after a long bout of chronic stress.  We both thank you for your compassionate and caring replies and our sincere gratitude for those who donated to her cause.  If you’d like to read Brenda’s personal story or make a donation please scroll down to the previous post.

Radial Scar

Several years ago, a young client with no breast symptoms presented for her initial baseline breast scan and this unusual pattern was seen in her right breast:

Radial_Scar_1 Radial_Scar_2

This pattern fit no typical thermal findings with respect to malignancy and this client was urged to have immediate clinical assessment by the interpreting thermologist.

It was determined that this pattern was due to a breast abnormality known as a radial scar
Pam Stephan, a breast cancer expert, says the following about radial scars:

It is also known as a complex sclerosing lesion of the breast, black star, sclerosing papillary proliferation, infiltrating epitheliosis and indurative mastopathy.

Radial scars a very rare and not much is known about them.  What is known is this: 

  • An estimated 0.04%, or six out of every 15,000 patients are diagnosed annually with a radial scar of the breast.
  • Women between the ages of 41 and 60 are at the highest risk for a radial scar.
  • These breast lesions are even less common in women under 40 or over 60 years old.
  • It is difficult to properly diagnose a radial scar, even with a biopsy, because under a microscope, the cell geometry closely resembles tubular carcinoma.
  • This typically benign breast mass sometimes has malignant tissue hiding behind it.
  • Those diagnosed with a radial scar have a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer of 150 to 200% greater than average.
  • A radial scar is not always made of scar tissue, but it takes its name from its scar-like appearance on an x-ray.
  • A radial scar may be caused by breast surgery, or breast inflammation or hormonal changes. It may also be the byproduct of fibrocystic changes in the breast that normally occur as you age.

A radial scar is a star-shaped breast mass that may be completely benign, or it may be precancerous or contain a mixture of tissue, including hyperplasia, atypia, or cancer. If a radial scar is rather large, it may appear on a regular screening mammogram. It can look like an irregularly shaped star, having spiked arms radiating away from the center. A radial scar in breast tissue usually won’t cause a lump that you can feel, nor will it make breast skin dimple or discolor.

Often, a breast surgeon will recommend this lesion be surgically removed.  Keep in mind, these are typically benign, but due to an increased risk of developing breast cancer in the future, close thermal and clinical monitoring is strongly advised.

Again, we hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer filled with fun in the sun, cool mountain retreats, spending time with friends, and enjoyed loving family gatherings.

Yours in prevention,
Lynda and Brenda

The Dilemma of Stage 0 – DCIS

In the news lately, there has been significant questioning of the treatment of a particular type of breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ or Stage 0 breast cancer. This is a commonly found cancer that unfortunately affects approximately 60,000 women each year.  

This brief Q & A below touches on the situation that many women face each year.  We hope that these questions and answers help educate the reader about the significance of this new information.  

Q. What is DCIS?
A. DCIS stands for ductal carcinoma in situ. It 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.


From a thermography perspective:  Thermal imaging does NOT see structure, only heat.  In this specific situation, we likely wouldn’t “see” the abnormal pileup of cells on your thermogram. Thermal imaging is not meant to replace other imaging that can detect structural pathology. 

Q. Is DCIS cancer?
A. 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.

The development of DCIS treatments and its handling over the past 40 years is an example of something we in medicine could have done better.

~ Otis Brawley, MD
Chief Medical Officer
American Cancer Society

Q. How many women get a DCIS diagnosis each year?
A. Approximately 60,000 women in the United States are diagnosed annually with DCIS.  Alarmingly, before 1983 (before widespread use of annual screening mammography) only several hundred women were diagnosed.  Although some blame the rapid rise of DCIS on mammography (and the results of radiation exposure on breast tissue), others believe the increase in DCIS is due to the higher effectiveness of computer-assisted detection offered in some mammography clinics. 


From a thermography perspective:  The highest rates of detection are found only when thermography AND mammography are combined at a reasonable interval of time.  When performed together, detection rates are reported at 90-93%.
Q. What are the treatment options for women with DCIS?
A. The majority of women get a lumpectomy, sometimes followed by radiation therapy. Other women may choose to have a mastectomy or even a double mastectomy, removing the healthy breast as a preventive measure. 


From a thermography perspective:  Being followed thermographically after a diagnosis of DCIS is extremely valuable.  However, due to the current understanding of DCIS, using other modalities (MRI, mammography, and ultrasound) conjunctively is imperative.
Q. What did the new study on DCIS outcomes show?
A. The study analyzed data from 100,000 patients followed over a 20-year timeframe.  Here are the findings: 

  • It found that there was essentially no difference in the death rate from breast cancer between the group of women who had lumpectomies with or without radiation and the group of women who had mastectomies.
  • In both groups the risk of dying from breast cancer after 20 years was very low, about 3.3 percent.

Understand, a 3.3% risk of dying from breast cancer is very close to the same odds that an average woman will die from breast cancer. 
Q. Are some women at higher risk than others if they have DCIS?
A. Yes. Not all women with DCIS will have a 3.3% risk of dying.  Women who fall into this profile have a higher death rate of 7.8% over 20 years:

  • Black women
  • Women who are under 40 years of age
  • Women whose DCIS cells have molecular markers similar to those found in more aggressive, invasive cancers

Q. What should a woman do if she is told she has DCIS?
A. Because pathology is subjective and the stakes with cancer so high, she might want to get a second opinion. If the diagnosis is DCIS, most doctors would urge treatment until a study shows it is not necessary. But some women are choosing not to be treated while getting frequent monitoring. 

You can read more here about this topic.  

These recent reports about the true effectiveness of mammographic screening have caused some breast cancer organizations to take a step back and re-evaluate their routine screening programs.  Switzerland leads the way and recently decided to abolish mammographic screenings all together.  

This article sums it up nicely when it comes to breast cancer stating, 

Remember that in order to truly avoid breast cancer, you need to focus your attention on actual prevention and not just early detection.”


Remember, thermography is NOT a stand-alone breast cancer detection device, but instead a technology to monitor for changes that could indicate the development of disease.  Prevention requires you to know the risks for developing breast cancer and then take intentional measures to reduce your risk.  Our October newsletter will be focusing on several modalities you can employ to help you reduce your risk.  Prevention is key to changing the course of this disease and unfortunately, this message is NOT being shared.  Please consider helping us spread this message of prevention by sharing our newsletters with others. 

Yours in health…and prevention,

Lynda and Brenda