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Time to Rethink Your Annual Mammogram?

Three years ago, I reported on a clinical trial of so called thermography by a prominent clinician: Dr. Rache Simmons of Cornell Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital. In that report she said that for young women with dense breasts…thermography was a better option {than mammography}. She also said that infrared digital scanning, which “needed more study,” was able to detect cancer ten years before a mammogram. But apparently only a few women heard about it. There have been hundreds of other studies on this “new technology,” and for me one stands out above all the rest:

The study was published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” two years ago. It concluded: “It appears that some breast cancers detected by repeated mammographic screening would not persist to be detectable by a single mammogram at the end of 6 years. This raises the possibility that the natural course of some screen-detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress.” That study involved over two hundred thousand women in four Norwegian counties. Healthy women between 50 and 64 were divided into two groups: one that would get a mammogram every two years and the other only once at the end of the study, six years later. Well, the regularly screened group had twenty two percent more cancer than those screened only once. They said there was no other explanation other than to conclude that the cancers must have spontaneously regressed. {Archives of Internal Medicine , Vol 168 No. 21 November 24, 2008 ..lead author Per-Henrik Aahl, MD, PhD}

While the American Cancer Society says the x-ray exposure from a mammogram is “safe”…that determination may not be taking into account all the other exposures we get over a lifetime. Let’s face it…most every time someone goes to an emergency room they get an x-ray or a cat scan. Both my guests pointed out that there is no safe x-ray exposure for breasts. So chances are we may all be getting too much exposure.

Thermography is actually digital infrared computer scans …and the technology is very sophisticated. Every time a doctor does a scan it becomes part of the data base so that the computer is always learning…what an abnormality looks like and what a healthy breast looks like. The computer does a risk analysis. If you’re determined to be low risk …you go on your merry way… If it turns out something is going on with your breasts….you have time to get serious about taking care of yourself. You have time because the thermogram can see the beginning of the changes that lead to cancer.

If you go to someone like Dr. Dekel he will give you a list of supplements and lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk. Your next thermogram will determine if what you’re doing is enough to make a difference in your health.

I have been going for thermograms for twenty years. I heard about the technology while working at CNN where we covered this “new and exciting “ way to painlessly check women for breast cancer. It’s disappointing to me that the technology isn’t available at every gynecologists office. That’s because it’s expensive . Once an office has a piece of equipment they naturally want to use it. They need to use it so they can pay for it. And so therein lies the reason time marches so slowly.

Thermograms cannot to my knowledge pinpoint the exact location of a potential cancer… it only gives a generalized hot spot area. So if you choose to have surgery to remove a lump you would need a mammogram to locate it. In that case it makes sense.

As far as prevention goes: there is solid evidence that certain nutrients and lifestyle changes can make the difference.

Dr. Dekel has suggested the following :

A diet high in organic vegetables, particularly crucificerous veggies like raw cabbage cauliflower, broccoli that contains DIM available as a supplement 350 – 500 mg a day.
Curcumin 500 mg day; Vit C 1,000 to 2000 mg per day, vit E 200 IU to 400 IU, Beta Carotene 25,000 units , Selenium 250 mcg to 300 mcg day, Coenzyme Q10 30 mg to 60 mg, omega 3 fats 2 – 3 grams day, Iodine 12.5 mg per day challenge test { ideally you would be tested but most natural experts say that one pill of a brand called “Iodoral” available at would be fine for most everyone, Vitamin D3 5000 IU,….vit D3 is another that should be tested if possible. Meanwhile, science is telling us that anyone living in the Northeast is deficient in the winter.
Reduce coffee: drink organic only, avoid underwire bras, increase raw food enzymes, hydrate well: half your body weight in water.
Avoid partially hydrogenated fat, avoid all artificial sweeteners…use stevia instead,… self breast massage for lymphatic drainage, self breast exams, coffee enemas twice weekly, exercise, use far infrared saunas three times weekly.
To Your Health,

Mary Mucci

Contacts: website which follows advances in science for breast health.

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