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Thread: Breast Cancer Screening

  1. #1
    Veteran Member LabDoc's Avatar
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    Default Breast Cancer Screening

    A question for the ladies of HH. I recently read an article on another 'health site' which espoused the benefits of Thermography over traditional X-ray mammography for breast screening. Thermography was quoted as being superior in a number of ways, but I also read from another source that Thermography has not been scientifically proven as a diagnostic tool and is not able to detect 'growths' until they are of a significant size. Now being a male I have never had reason to have either procedure but I am sure most of you have. I would be interested on your opinions/expertise on the usefulness of the two and which you think is diagnostically better ?

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    LabDoc, I think I know the site and the comment you're referring to. I'm no expert but I have looked into thermography. Until recently, the closest option was in Maryland (about an 8-hour drive) and of course it's not covered by Medicare. Recently a unit opened less than an hour from me, so acceptance seems to be growing.

    Everything I've read indicates that thermography can spot tumor growth up to ten years before it becomes visible in a mammogram. My understanding is that it is a far superior diagnostic tool that could conceivably encourage a woman to make lifestyle changes that would enable the body's own defenses to attack and destroy irregular cells.

    What follows is pure speculation. If thermography is so accurate, why are doctors still referring their patients to mammography? Possibly because their practice has money invested in these machines? I think when thermography centers proliferate and the pressure becomes intense, insurance companies and Medicare will have to get on board.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    I have ended up with bruises and breast pain for a week or two after the last 2 mammograms I had back in the late 1990's. I got sick for 3-4 weeks from the chemicals in the developing solutions being in the air, and ended up with bronchitis. I can't take drugs, and react to anesthesia and wouldn't be able to tolerate surgery, chemo or radiation so I quit getting them.
    I am not advising this for anyone else, but just sharing my story of the procedure's risks for me and even if they found something I can't do conventional treatments for cancer.

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    Veteran Member Katee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Three companies go into business. They all sell various widgets that are greatly used in providing life-saving treatment.

    At first view, widgets from company A, company X and company 342 all seem to have about the same properties and benefits. As time goes on, however, company A seems to have a superior product but little money to market it. Company X has a fine product, but then the company goes bankrupt. Company 342 has an adequate product, but huge amounts of money to market it. They spend a lot of money doing "research" that proves that their product is superior to that of A and X products, and they employ a large marketing force to present the results of the info to doctors and encourage them to purchase the widget from 342 in order to better serve the patients of these docs.

    A small, independently-owned group looks at the actual data from the research of these different widgets. They find that the widget A is a much better product. Based on this, a small number of doctors (2%) invest in widget A and make it available to the public. However, 85% of the docs have invested in the widget from 342 and their money is tied up in this widget even tho studies clearly show that A is the better product. In time, further research shows that not only does 342 not do as good a job as A, but it possibly contributes to further disease. But 85% of the doctors have invested in 342 and have a financial tie to it. And studies can't clearly prove that 342 causes further disease.

    Which item do you think the doctors are going to recommend?

    If A is so accurate, why are doctors still referring their patients to 342?

    I don't think that this article by Huffington Post (2009) gives the full story, but it certainly gives a clearer picture of the history of mammography. I think that jumping on the bandwagon of "a cure for breast cancer" caused a number of doctors/hospitals/clinics to choose to invest in something that they could point to as a way of dealing with the problem. Once they were invested in it, would they be likely to admit that they purchased and are recommending the wrong widget?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Katee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    I have never had a mammogram, and it is not my intention to ever get one. When told of the procedure, it just seemed so barbaric that it didn't make sense to me.

    In a similar way, as an adult i have refused 99% of injections/vaccines recommended to me because this also seems to be barbaric.

    I am leery of invasive procedures and/or anything that bypasses my own body's defense mechanisms.

    For a long time i considered this to be weakness on my part, and a childish refusal to get a shot or whatever. However, while of course there are exceptions to this, i am coming to believe that the less i let a doctor mess with my body, do invasive procedures, or breach the boundaries of my own defense mechanisms, the better off i am. I am believing (for me, anyway, others can choose a different path) that my body instinctively knew that what a doctor wanted to do to me was not right for me.

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    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Katee, I like your scenario. People often say that if you offer an excellent product or service that you will be successful and if not you will fail. Fairy Tale horse pucky. Success hinges on marketing.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Excellent article in the Huffington post, Katee-thank you!
    You are spot on with the widget analogy..
    Last edited by Reesacat; 05-18-11 at 04:30 PM.

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Back in December I had sudden, pretty bad pain along with a sore that wouldn't (and still won't) heal. I gave in and went to the doc who of course, wanted a mammogram. I explained to her that the last few had been absolute agony and that I was really concerned about cumulative radiation exposure over the last few years. Well, she listened to me and instead, ordered an ultra sound and a breast MRI both of which were negative. Don't know for absolute sure what was wrong but there's a good chance I had shingles. A close friend figured that out! Coincidentally, I was put on Valtrex (to see if it would lower EBV viral load) about the same time this pain started so that may have been why I never got an actual rash. All I'm trying to say is that your best defense is knowledge and presenting it reasonably (which at times is quite difficult for me). There is a place close that does thermography but I can't afford to do that. These tests were painless and mostly non-invasive.
    Last edited by mellowsong; 05-19-11 at 12:00 AM.

  9. #9
    oceanforkids
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    It is definitely all about the marketing. Here's a good article I've been watching. It's about how medical conventions are sell-outs of major proportions. I think that's true with even the older tests like mammograms because they have to keep them front and center in order to keep women's attention focused on useless diagnostics rather than prevention and/or early treatment from self exams. These doctors won't be selling the idea of thermograms until or unless they are acquired by the medical profession and forbidden to other areas like holistic practitioners. Greed and integrity do not go hand in hand.

    http://www.propublica.org/podcast/it...-ad-at-a-time/

  10. #10
    MooniePetul
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Hi Labdoc

    I have had my ears tuned for thermography since I first heard of it in the 90's.. I am no expert but from what l have read and heard, am in favour of it as a diagnostic aid. From my understanding, it is a non invasive procedure that also picks up probs in other areas of the body as well...

    There is free annual mammograms for my age group in NZ but I have never had one nor will I. The thought of the radiation washing through a squashed tender area of my person...

    : I dont "do" pain!!!!!:

    I think Dr M had thermography on a recent newsletter..

  11. #11
    MooniePetul
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    Post Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Labdoc - have just seen there is an article/post from EmmaPeel at the bottom of this page where it mentions thread...

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Jane Chitty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Why is it that some people just seem to know instinctively what is best for them and their family and others just follow the crowd. Enjoying sunshine and not lathering on sun screen; never drinking sodas; giving up on mamograms after one or two tries (years ago); not being physically and emotionally attached to a cell phone; loving butter and never changing to horrible margarine; are just a few of my own!

  13. #13
    Veteran Member LabDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Recently read the Wikipedia entry for JM, very interesting reading, including his March 2011 warning letter from the FDA about his false claims on thermography. Just waiting on a few more responses on your views of thermography before I list the current literature and reviews, hang on to your hats or bras or whatever you do when you have one of these exams.

  14. #14
    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Chitty View Post
    Why is it that some people just seem to know instinctively what is best for them and their family and others just follow the crowd.
    I think that's just it Jane: some people trust their instincts and others don't and feel safer following the crowd. Team butter!

  15. #15
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast Cancer Screening

    LabDoc, other reliable alternative doctors like thermography over mammograms and they have written about it. Dr. Nan Fuchs actually had one that showed up hot spots due to chemical exposure and used the thermograms to track the inflammation and reduce the hot spots.

    Also remember the radiation you get with a mammogram. Would you put your testicles in a cold metal vise, squeeze them until they are bruised black and blue, and nuke them and then pay $200 believing you just prevented cancer?

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