It doesn’t need to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month for us to talk about the importance of screening for breast cancer. Patients must understand all of their options when it comes to screening for and protecting against breast cancer. An osteopath may not be the first doctor you would think to turn to; however, an osteopath focuses on ways to improve your health to reduce risk factors while also providing you with preventive measures and screening tools to prevent health problems from occurring in the first place. If this is your first time getting screened for breast cancer, you may have questions. Luckily, we have answers.
What is breast thermography?
This proactive screening tool utilizes highly sensitive infrared cameras to evaluate the physiology of the breasts to look for possible risk factors that could increase your chances of breast cancer. This non-invasive thermal imaging test can be performed by your osteopath and it looks for patterns or changes in temperature between the left and right breast.
It can also look at the vascular system and detect inflammation. Just as a Pap smear checks the cells of the cervix or a blood test monitors your blood sugar levels for the presence of diabetes, breast thermography does the same for possible malignant tumors and growth.
Does this test take the place of a mammogram?
While this test is valuable it should not take the place of traditional mammography. Breast thermography is often performed between mammograms (especially in women who may have a higher risk for developing breast cancer) or for women who are under 50 years old who aren’t old enough to begin getting mammograms. Women with denser breast tissue, which can make it more challenging to detect suspicious growths, may also benefit from getting breast thermography.
Malignant tumors often grow rapidly, particularly in women under 50 years old. This growth generates more heat, which can easily be detected on breast thermography. So, by getting this diagnostic screening, there is an increased chance of detecting cancerous lesions quickly, which can save lives.
When should I get my first breast thermography?
Breast thermography is ideal for women between the ages of 30-50, as well as women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer. How often you require this screening will depend on your age, medical history, risk factors, and the results of past thermography screenings. Patients can get screened every 3, 6, or 12 months.
Whether you have questions about your upcoming breast thermography or you’d like to schedule your screening today, turn to an osteopath who can provide you with the comprehensive alternative care you’re looking for today.