Mammograms Do Have Risks of Increasing Breast Cancer
If you follow the news, it’s clear there’s some controversy associated with the use of mammograms. At what age should they begin? How often – annually? Biennially?
And for a long time concerns have been raised concerning the relatively high levels of radiation used in a mammogram — up to 1000 times greater than a simple chest x-ray, creating potential risks of radiation-induced forms of cancer.
For these reasons, I’m not a huge fan of mammograms. They have their place, but they should not be considered the only tool for diagnosis. And because they’re typically not recommended for use before the age of 40, subtle shifts within the body before that age can happen without any warning.
That’s why we recommend you consider adding another tool to your arsenal against disease. One that can identify early on a condition that can lead to all kinds of health problems: inflammation.
Safeguard Your Health Against Inflammation and Cancer
Sure, you’ve heard the term. And perhaps you associate it with a fever, a rash, or an infection caused by a scratch or scrape.
But research continues to indicate that chronic inflammation actually underlies many long-term ailments – such as gum disease, cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes… and yes, even some types of cancers.
And of course, as you know if you’ve worked with us here at Dentistry for Health New York, we firmly believe that good oral health supports good health throughout your entire system. We’ve always believed that early detection and correction of inflammatory conditions – wherever they occur within your system – can actually prevent the development of many negative health conditions.
We recommend treating inflammation with a variety of tools, such as changes to your diet, nutritional supplements, reducing stress, and so on.
Even though I’ve been focusing on breast cancer, don’t assume if you’re a man that this information doesn’t affect you. Inflammation and it’s negative results has no regard to person, age, or gender. Man or woman, you need to take the steps necessary to safeguard your health and keep inflammation in check before it gets out of control.
And I have some very good news for you on that front.
Dentistry for Health New York has recently acquired a new, high-technology diagnostic tool that was designed to measure inflammation.
The tool is called Thermal Imaging or Thermography. A Thermal Imaging unit uses an infrared camera to carefully scan your body’s surface temperature. The data is then output as a digitized image, which can be used to identify precise heat patterns within your body – patterns that can actually reveal some underlying physical condition, abnormal situation, and signs of disease. A healthy body will present a thermally symmetrical image; on the other hand, asymmetrical images may indicate problems.
We therefore recommend that our patients use this tool as a standard means of proactively safeguarding their health by regularly measuring inflammation in their bodies.
Reasons Why Thermal Imaging Makes Good Sense
It’s safe. It’s easy. And it offers some wonderful benefits that perfectly complement other diagnostic tools:
- Thermal Imaging is reliable and accurate.
- Thermal Imaging offers precise and objective data
- Thermal Imaging can save you money compared to other techniques
Thermal Imaging is an excellent choice when considering a proactive approach to maintaining your health. It’s non-invasive, which means there’s no pain. None. The unit doesn’t make ANY contact with your body – nothing is squeezed, pinched, poked, or prodded. It just takes a series of digital pictures. And the entire process takes almost no time at all — in fact, most exams can be completed in under 15 minutes.
Finally, it doesn’t emit any radiation. So you have nothing to fear about long term, lingering negative side effects.
“What Can Thermography Do For Me?”
So this all sounds good. But you’re wondering to yourself, “So what specifically can this technology do for me?”
A good question. Especially if you currently enjoy excellent health.
If that’s the case, and things are going along great, then that’s exactly the trendline we both want to see continuing for a very long time to come. And that’s why we see Thermography as such a vital tool to help make this happen.
You see, there are multiple aspects of your overall health into which thermal imaging can offer valuable insights. But where thermal imaging is really useful is in the following critical areas:
- Diagnosing Pain
- Breast Health Imaging
- Head and Neck Imaging
- Full Body Imaging
- Detecting Early-Stage Disease
Because Thermograms provide a deep tissue overview of what’s going on inside your body, they can help diagnose and assist in the treatment of situations like inflammation, musculoskeletal injury, neurological / vascular dysfunction, and even cancer.
Let’s talk specifically for a moment about Breast Cancer.
How Thermography Can Help You Beat Breast Cancer
By using Thermal Imaging, a trained specialist can detect and identify irregular patterns in the breast. These can be caused by conditions that occur even before a noticeable lump is formed.
In fact, there are cases such as inflammatory cancer where you won’t find lumps through a self-exam, clinical exam, or mammogram.
Bottom line: the addition of Thermography to your annual health routine can increase your chances of detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.
Differences Between Mammograms and Thermal Imaging
On the surface, it would seem that both Mammograms and Thermal Imaging do about the same thing – provide an inside view of what’s going on within the body. But there are some clear and important differences.
A Mammogram focuses on the breast’s physical anatomy, looking to detect masses or lumps within the breast tissue.
A Thermal Image, however, examines the vascular makeup of the breast — detecting blood flow patterns, areas of inflammation, and asymmetries.
And while Mammograms aren’t recommended for women under 40, Thermal Imaging can provide benefits to women of all ages — particularly young women who want to proactively monitor their breast health in their 30s or even earlier. Indeed, preventing breast cancer should be a focus of your health program as early as possible.
The reason is clear:
Breast Cancer Strikes One in Eight Women
And don’t think if you’re male you don’t have to be concerned. Even though about 100 times rarer in men, it still occurs with predictable regularity.
Forewarned is forearmed so the old saying goes. By knowing the facts, and conducting regular self-exams, clinical exams, and now — incorporating the critical information available through Thermal Imaging technologies — you have access to a comprehensive and thorough early detection system.
By using Thermal Imaging, we can identify early on the subtle physiologic changes – such as infections, fibrocystic disease, vascular issues, and even cancer.
Getting a Thermogram is Simple, Painless, and Easy.
The actual process is simple and straightforward.
- You come in for Thermal Imaging the first time to create the baseline for your “thermal signature.” This involves sitting in a temperature-controlled room to let your body cool to its normal temperature. You’ll also fill out some simple paperwork.
- You’re positioned in front of a Thermal Imaging Camera, and the technician takes digital pictures (5-15 minutes). You will be able to see yourself “live” on the computer screen, which can help give you a better understanding of your body.
- Your pictures are sent out to a certified physician for analysis of a) the amount of heat and b) the symmetry of the heat patterns. Heat patterns may indicate inflammation, infection, or a variance from your body’s norm.
- You’ll receive a report of findings in your mail shortly thereafter. This will help you and your doctor determine any next steps.
- Then, 90 days later, we recommend you return for another quick session to complete and fully establish that baseline.
- Each year after that, you return for an annual Thermogram to track changes to your body’s heat patterns over time, and identify any deviations from your baseline signature.
By making this part of your annual routine, we can detect any unexpected changes, alerting us to potential problems — often before other symptoms develop.
As you’re now probably realizing, Thermal Imaging offers diagnostic benefits in areas other than breast health. For example, one all-too-common problem that afflicts both sexes is that of PAIN.
Thermography Can Actually “Visualize” Your Pain
Chronic pain. Acute pain. Head, back, neck, hands — no matter where your pain exists or for how long you’ve endured it, Thermal Imaging can help provide insights into the cause.
In fact, thermography is the ONLY technology available that can actually visualize the pain you’re experiencing. Thermal Imaging…
- Assesses pain and pathology anywhere in your body….
- Fully complements other diagnostic tools, such as X-ray, bone scans, and ultrasound…
- Provides instant, visual data that bridges that gap between other methods of diagnosis
- Offers a cost effective, painless, and risk free diagnostic information.
Thermal Imaging stands totally distinct from technologies such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and MRI — these all assess and measure your body’s anatomical structures. Instead, Thermography uniquely measures changes that underlie your body’s physiological and metabolic processes.
Other Uses For Thermal Imaging
Thermal Imaging actually excels at detecting many diseases in their early stages. For example, let’s look at how you could use Thermography to diagnose and assess your risk of heart disease.
By comparing current thermal images against your baseline, we can both assess your heart’s current state, and also identify inflammation which may have appeared in your carotid arteries. (Inflammation here can be a precursor to blood clots and even stroke.) If we find there is inflammation in the carotid and/or occlusion, your doctor may want to conduct additional tests.
Taking this measured, thorough approach to long term assessment can help with earlier detection of possible heart problems — which can extend and even save your life.
Heart Disease is just one example. There are many others:
- Dental Issues: Thermal Imaging will reveal as white or red hot when you have gum disease, TMJ, or an infected tooth.
- Back Pain and Neck Pain: Visible as white and red hot, pain patterns actually seem to “light up” in the affected area.
- Arthritis: Thermal Imaging can detect early signs of arthritis, helping differentiate between osteoarthritis and more severe forms like rheumatoid.
- Sinus Issues & Headaches: If your thermogram reveals significant heat in your forehead or sinus region, this is a signal that these systems are not functioning properly.
- Immune Dysfunction, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue: High levels of heat in the spinal region can indicate immune dysfunction. Cool patterns, however, can indicate chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and aching joints.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): Often misdiagnosed, as a scan may show your neck is referring pain from a different affected area. This will help you get the most appropriate treatment.
- Digestive Disorders: Thermography can often reveal conditions associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease.
- Other Conditions: Including bursitis, herniated discs, ligament or muscle tear, lupus, nerve problems, whiplash, stroke screening, cancer, and many, many others.
With Thermal Imaging, we can identify exactly which area of the body is experiencing problems, so any treatment can target the right area.
The bottom line with any/all of these conditions, if you’re able to address them early on, your chances are that much better of a return to full health.
Thermography Is Proven Technology
Maybe you’ve never heard of Thermography or Thermal Imaging. Perhaps you’re wondering whether this is real science that offers proven benefits. You might even question where these machines come from.
At Dentistry For Health, New York, we only conduct Thermal Imaging exams with equipment from the market leader in clinical thermography, Flir. They have over 60 offices and the largest installed infrared camera base in the world. As pioneers in the commercial infrared camera industry, the company has been supplying thermography and night vision equipment to science, industry, law enforcement and the military for over 50 years.
Your Thermal Imaging scans will be examined by certified specialists in thermography.And the machine used at the Dentistry For Health, New York delivers a higher degree of sensitivity and specificity than other thermography systems on the market.
So you can rest assured this is a legitimate tool for helping you achieve your best health possible.
What Comes Next?
I’m not a fan of over-prescribing anything – whether it’s drugs, tests, procedures, what have you.
But I am totally behind taking a proactive, personal approach to safeguarding my health and the health of my friends, family, and patients.
And that’s why I’m so enthusiastically supporting the benefits of Thermal Imagine technology. Nothing else today gives you the same head start on so many common ailments. It lets us actually look inside your body… literally, into your body’s future. So even if you’re feeling fine today, we can see and possibly prevent problems that could hamper your ability to live a full, healthy, vibrant life in the future.
And especially if you’re female, you absolutely need to consider adding thermography to your annual health prevention regimen.