Thermography is Best for Large, Small or Dense Breasts
By Dr. Carla Garcia, DOM
Normally dense breast tissue prevents accurate mammogram results. Mammography screens for increased tissue density and it is difficult to discern the difference between normally dense tissue and the dense tissue that develops with breast cancer. Thermography images heat patterns. Mammograms screen for increased tissue density which does not occur until much later in the disease process. Breast size or dense tissue do not affect thermography results. Thermography converts the heat emitted from the body into color images. This means that increased areas of heat are visible on an image and are usually an indication for inflammation.
Thermography can image any area of the body but is most commonly used in breast imaging. Women are more familiar with x-rays or mammography for breast imaging. Mammograms compress each breast between two plates and x-ray photons are passed through the tissue to create an image. “X-ray photons carry enough energy to ionize atoms and disrupts molecular bonds. This makes it a type of ionizing radiation, and therefore harmful to living tissue.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-ray
Mammograms and x-rays appear in gradations of white, gray and black. The images produced are depending on the density or x-ray absorption rate of the tissue. Dense tissue absorbs more radiation and appears white on an x-ray.
Soft tissue absorbs less radiation and appears gray on an x-ray. The cancerous areas on a mammograms usually appear white just as the dense areas do. This is the reason The American Cancer Society says mammograms are not the best imaging method for dense breast tissue.
Warmer temperatures appear as warmer colors (red, orange) on the image and are an indication of increased blood flow or inflammation. Increased blood flow can also precede tumor growth. Cancer recruits its own blood supply by growing new blood vessels, also known as angiogenesis, to feed itself. These newly grown blood vessels bring increased heat to the area. According to Life Extension Magazine, “Angiogenesis is a key factor that facilitates the growth of cancer and it is this biological feature of cancer on which thermography is based.
HEAR DR. CARLA GARCIA TALK ABOUT WHY WOMEN ARE CHOOSING THERMOGRAPHY
If you need to make an appointment for a Mammogram here are some reputable centers:
Solis / University Park
Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center
Breast Imaging Center