Why Is This Powerful Secret Weapon Against Breast Cancer Still a Secret?
As I've mentioned before, breast cancer doesn't just run in my family, it gallops. My grandmother, my mother, my sister, my niece and way too many women I know and love have all been diagnosed, so when I tell you I keep abreast of this subject, you'll know I'm not just punning you.
And here's what I've discovered about the war on breast cancer that is crucial and has nothing to do with the color pink: Women should take command of their bodies and include thermograms as part of their breast health regimen.
You don't have to wait for your gynecologist or primary doctor to suggest it. Chances are, they know nothing about this continually improving imaging technology. It's had lousy PR ever since it was approved by the FDA in 1982. Maybe because it's simply not part of the billion-dollar cancer industry. Maybe if it had a color of its own.
Breast thermography -- using a digital infrared camera -- is safe, effective, involves no radiation or squishing of the breast, and is evolving as a super-important risk-assessment tool for the early detection of breast cancer.
And early detection is everything. "When treated in its earliest stages, most breast cancer has a cure rate of 95 percent," says Dr. Kathryn Ater, a doctor of Oriental medicine, who gave me my first, second and third thermograms over the last 4 years.
Her mission is simply stated on her Two Birds Thermography website: To help women take care of themselves.
"You are the one who decides when and how you're going to monitor your breast health," says Ater, who's been analyzing thermograms for more than 10 years. "Thermography is a tool. It's a piece of the puzzle that we can offer to help find abnormalities in the breast tissue before abnormal growth begins."
Mammograms -- and I'm not going to get into all the pros and cons that have women so confused -- are simply not useful for early detection.
"A cancer has been growing 8 to 10 years before it's big enough or dense enough to be detected by mammography," explains Sandra Fields, a certified clinical thermographer with a Master's in nursing and 35 years experience in women's health care. She's part of an expanding network of doctors, nurses, patients, and health experts who are spreading the good word about thermograms.
"Women need to know that breast thermography is a promising and safe technology that is a welcome addition to helping women create breast health," says another wise advocate, the best-selling Dr. Christiane Northrup.