Breast cancer runs in my family. Both my mother and my grandmother (her mother) had it. Now, my grandma will be celebrating her 90th birthday in the coming weeks. She’s always lived a very healthy lifestyle and when I was a young child she looked after me and, along with my parents, made sure that I had the best start possible in life health-wise. They were meticulous about family nutrition. My mother passed away almost a decade ago, but not from cancer. So they were both fighters and survivors against this disease. I am determined to prevent myself from ever getting cancer in the first place.

breast thermography

When I was in my 20’s the standard advice for women with a family history of breast cancer was to go and get a baseline mammogram before 30 and then to have annual mammograms starting at around 35. I’d never even heard of thermography back then so off I went to a breast specialist for a mammogram. They found nothing and I filed the report away for later. Then last year I saw an article somewhere on thermography and how this amazing technology can actually help you to monitor your breasts for cellular changes years in advance. Being a staunch advocate of preventative medicine, I was curious and filed it away as an alternative for my 35 year mammogram. Because some of the news coming out now about the potential for mammograms to actually contribute to breast cancer is pretty alarming.

This is not to say that thermography can completely replace mammography as a detection tool. But I am not at the stage where I need another one yet. I was at my acupuncturist’s office the other day when I saw a flyer for thermography. Originally I wasn’t even going to do it so soon but I decided to do some further research and discovered that it’s ideal to have a baseline thermograph done in your 20’s. I quickly called to book an appointment.

The thinking behind thermography emerged from Hippocrates, who used to cover his patients in mud and use the areas that took longer to dry as a starting point for further examination. The idea is that areas of concern will be warmer in temperature than those that are benign. The thermography equipment takes the temperature of the area being scanned and then produces an image with temperature readings, which are then read and analyzed by a doctor. The objective is to find thermal variations and abnormalities. Ideally these can be looked at over time to find patterns of cellular dysfunction and alert patients to pre-cancerous cells and inflammation. In the event of an abnormal thermogram, changes can be made such as diet, lifestyle, herbs or supplements and the situation can be monitored until further intervention is required. When a person finally feels a lump, it has likely been growing for ten years.

In the days leading up to my appointment I was provided with some guidelines, such as not to use lotion or powder on the area and not to shave or sunbathe on the day, not to eat or drink coffee a few hours before, etc. I completed a questionnaire about my breasts, my health and family medical history, which was useful for the report and my file. Immediately prior to the thermogram being taken I sat with my thermographic technician and talked a little about thermography and my history. It is necessary to sit in a cold room for some time before the procedure begins. Soon it was time to take the pictures.

Unlike a mammogram, the thermographic equipment doesn’t touch you at all during the imaging procedure. There is no radiation so you can have as many of these done as you can afford with no side effects. The procedure itself is like a topless photo shoot, except it all takes place in the dark. I had to lift my arms into different positions and lean back, turn my swivel stool from side to side and then we were finished. The whole thing took about 15 minutes once I had sat in the cold room for a little while.

breast thermogram

Afterwards we took a quick peek at my images and then the report took another week. I returned to discuss the findings with my technician, Angel. As I had already noticed on the day of my thermogram, there was a pretty angry looking arch across the top of my left breast. The area visible at the top of my abdomen was also hotter than I would like to see. Granted, I’d started my MTHFR detox and taking methylated vitamins a couple of weeks before…maybe stuff was just moving around? It’s too soon to tell. I need to continue my diet and lifestyle changes over the next few months and return for another thermogram. We need to see whether the “hot” areas are growing. The report noted that the thermal patterns in both breasts are “consistent with fibrocystic changes,” which is significant. This is now on my radar and I need to take action.

Angel then became an ally, helping me prepare a plan of action. First, I need to work on lymphatic stagnation and blockage. Hopefully getting my methylation going more effectively is going to help with this. Acupuncture also helps with detoxification and stress reduction and I do that once a week. Second, I was advised to start every day with hot lemon water, sipping it within 15 minutes of waking. I love this ritual now because it gives me space between my thyroid medication and my coffee (the latter inhibits absorption of the former). Third, I will be dry brushing my skin daily. This is a technique that I’ll discuss in full in my next post. Finally, I need to make adjustments to my diet and environment to focus on preventative health. As I’ve been documenting here, I am taking a number of steps to live as toxin-free as possible. I have also cut back my meat intake and always look for antibiotic and hormone free meats when I do eat them. Hopefully these will help.

I am also awaiting the results of some testing for a number of things that may also be contributing to my inflammation and some other symptoms I’m experiencing, like tinnitus. I am waiting on hormone tests, which may tell me whether I am estrogen dominant, which I know was a factor in my mother’s cancer. Progesterone cream could help with this. So there is quite a long way to go yet to getting my body to optimum health. I’ll be returning for a follow-up thermogram in a few months to see whether I need to get more aggressive with my areas of high heat. I will, of course, be sure to keep you updated with my progress.

If you have a comment that is related to your own health or have questions that require an answer, please leave these in the community discussion forums and not in the comments below. Thanks! =)

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6 thoughts on “My Thermography Experience

  1. CAWS

    Just a few comments from my 60 years of being poisoned since birth. My mother was working for 3 dentists mixing Hg amalgam fillings all day, no gloves, no mask, no air filtration system & Hg crosses the placenta & breast milk.I screamed for the 6 weeks she tried to nurse me. I only made this discovery last year; good thing there were practically no vaccines in those days! As an aside in later years many of the ADD,ADHD kids I taught riding to had mothers who worked in dental offices or had huge amounts of amalgams. Two infertile gals got pregnant after amalgams were .removed. This MUST be done by specially trained dentist or you will get worse. Go to http://www.iaomt.org for list.
    Have you had vitamin D levels checked? Also fibrocystic breast disease is usually caused by IODINE deficiency. This can also be a mitigating factor in your hypothyroidism. When you say detoxing; are you referring to metals and halogens? I ask because mercury can mimic TSH and fluoride can block conversion of T4 to active T3. DO NOT do metal detox before removing any amalgams or while fighting any infection [viral,bacterial, parasitic, or acute fungal–though chronic fungal will be ongoing with Hg]. DO NOT get pregnant until metals are out or you are done detoxing. Mercury is most attracted to sulfahydryl proteins; the largest of which is a forming fetus.It is in amalgams,fish,air near certain industries,vaccines [still] and high fructose corn syrup.
    Fluoride is in our food water & air and PHARMACEUTICALS.It displaces iodine; blocking thyroid uptake. This is also true of Bromine[in most baked goods] and Chlorine. Like Hg it does not come out easily, damages many organs, body systems & expression of genes. For a list of over 360 meds w/F in them go to http://www.slweb.org and click the FTRC link. Check out http://www.fluoridealet.org for more info.
    These drugs ;especially fluoroquinolone antibiotics, anesthesia,acid reflux meds,& diflucan were the catalyst [along with a tetanus booster containing Hg,AL, & formaldehyde oh my!] that finished me off. They directly caused CFS,FM, gluten intolerance,diabetes insipidus, severe insomnia,gastritis, and eye problems. I never smoked, rarely drink, eat clean Weston Price type diet, and was a TRI ATHLETE before this happened.
    Other excellent resources are the book Infertility & Birth Defects [from amalgams] by Dr Michael Ziff. Also the cheapest, safest, most effective detox I have found is at http://www.noamalgam.com from Dr Andy Cutler. Not a fast fix but is working for me and I have tried most of them.By the way I have had my genome done at 23andme.com [many mutations], Hair analysis, 24 hr urinalysis [tests for metals & mineral derangement at Doctors Data Lab] and very important Comprehensive GI Profile [Metamatrix]. These tests can be obtained without a doc [& insurance won’t pay anyway] thru http://www.directlabs.com. This gives me a way to track if chelation is working and the GI test revealed specific bacteria,fungus,virus & parasites to address as well as specific deficiencies that need to be supplemented or not. This was very helpful because I too crashed after taking methl vitamins & further study showed my methylization/sulfer cycle was messed up. Hydroxy B, yucca,molybdenum and diet changes have helped immensely.
    Good luck, you are not alone.
    CAWS

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      Thank you so much for this detailed response! I’m very sorry to hear about all the problems you have had throughout your life – so awful!

      I actually have never had any amalgam fillings (my teeth have always been very good – no cavities, etc.). When I say detox I mean getting my methylation going. I have had some heavy metals testing done but the results are not in yet. I will be posting today about some other tests that are being run, including iodine. I’ve been supplementing with this for the last year and a half so hopefully my levels are ok.

      Your advice and the information here is much appreciated! Wishing you all the best…

      Reply

      1. CAWS

        Please be careful with the iodine test. While it did tell me I was 25% deficient; the amount of fluorine & bromine it released too quickly made me very sick ; like being re poisoned. One test that was not worth it for me. I would say rather continue with low doses & look for improvement in thermography [fibrosis] and thyroid readings. Basil body temps were more accurate for me as Hg was mimicing TSH on my tests showing me to be “normal” when my temp was 97.5. No wonder I could not fight off anything.
        My hair & urine tests showed a lot of lead & arsenic which shocked me until I again did the research and found that Cape Cod [where I was born] was blanketed with lead arsenate for YEARS in an attempt to kill the Gypsy Moth . When the birds were all dieing they switched to DDT! That was when Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring which was the catalyst for the EPA .Cape Cod now has breast cancer pockets being studied at Dana Farber Hospital lead by the Silent Sping Foundation. Lead arsenate is sprayed on cotton fields [still] and up until 2013 it was sprayed on golf courses. Cranberry bogs & State Parks were bombarded thru the 50s. I lived near all these places and BREATHING it is the worst way to be exposed. My current biological dentist, who has had major chelation [IV] because of his profession was not happy when I told him that HIS high levels of lead & arsenic were from the golf course!

        Reply

        1. spirova17

          We see a biological dentist too…

          That is just horrible. Unfortunately these stories of mass poisoning are all too common… My iodine test was just blood. Is there another type?

          Reply

          1. CAWS

            Yes an iodine displacement urine test. You take a moderately high dose of iodine [prescribed] and do 24 hr urine collection to see what % comes out. If less than 95% comes out then you retained it because you were deficient. It also displaces bromine & fluorine but sometimes they just redistribute elsewhere in the body & make you sicker. It is probably more accurate than blood test though.

          2. Andrea Post author

            Oh I see – interesting – I wasn’t really thinking to do that one. Thanks for the info though!

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