• Jenny Cathcart

My Experience with Thermography

Over the years I have learned a lot about cancer and living to minimize my exposure to known carcinogens. I do not think anyone will argue that radiation causes cancer. When I turned 40 a few years ago my doctor was on me to get a mammogram. I was hesitant because I had watched numerous documentaries talking about the danger of radiation and learned that the squeezing of the mammography machine can cause cancer cells to spread. Yet a mammogram is the only scan covered by health insurance. I just do not get that. Reluctantly I went ahead and had the mammogram. I am not a large chested woman, so it is challenging to set my boobs up on a shelf. It was uncomfortable, but I probably would not describe it as painful. After my scan they called and said they needed to do further tests. They said it could just be dense tissue, but they needed to check further. I was immediately scheduled for an ultrasound. Fortunately, dense breast tissue was the only thing they found. But it made me wonder further, if the ultrasound is more definitive, why even do a mammogram. After that experience and the fact that I think mammograms are inaccurate, I did not have another one. After turning 43 this year I decided I really should be making sure I am getting checked but I did not want to do the mammogram again. I knew about thermography and decided I would pay out of pocket for it instead.

After posting a story on Instagram about thermography, I got a lot of questions. Sometimes I forget not everyone geeks out on things as much as I do and may not be familiar with it. Thermography is basically thermal imaging that detects subtle physiological changes. You have the first one, then a 2nd 3 months later and using those 2, your baseline is set. Each scan in the future will be compared to those to note any changes. Because of this, cancer can be caught up to 8 years earlier than with a mammogram. And there is NO SMASHING!!!

You start the appointment by completing a full health history with the thermographer. You are not to wear any lotions or oils the day of your scan. A few minutes before the scan you will be asked to remove your bra so your body will cool down a bit. The reason is that thermography is looking at heat in the body. Once you are cooled, you remove your top and the thermographer takes photos of you from the front, sides and back. After the scan, the pictures are sent to the doctor to interpret and in 1-2 days you have your report. The report states the likelihood of developing something in the future.

Thermography can be used for more than breast scans. It can find issues and concerns all over your body. If you suffer from anything unexplained, a thermal scan could get you pointed in the right direction. Prices of scans very but my breast scan was $195. To me it is worth it get more definitive answers and to not subject myself to questionable tests, procedures, and radiation.

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