It’s October and that means breast cancer awareness month so let's talk about those boobs! In this post I want to stress the importance of awareness and early detection in women. (Breast cancer can affect men however the ratio is incomparable)
So to all my ladies in the house let's talk awareness and detection.
What are your options? Start by doing regular self exams.
It is important to perform regular self breast examination and contact your primary health care provider with any changes you notice.
Start by just looking at your breast in the mirror. Look for any puckering, dimpling or changes in size, shape or symmetry. Look at your nipples. Make sure you look at your breasts while your arms are raised and at your sides. Next, do a self exam. This can be done laying or in the shower. When you are laying on your back, gravity takes over causing your breast tissue to flatten out/spread out which might make it easier for you to feel. If you dont think this is an issue you can do an exam in the shower, using soap to glide around more smoothly.
Use the pads of your fingers when feeling around, this part is much more sensitive than your fingertips.
Use different pressure levels. Your breasts are made up of layers of tissue so you want to use light pressure to feel tissues close to the skin and firmer pressure to feel the deeper tissue layers.
Examine and feel all the surfaces of your breast. Use a pattern or method to methodically move around to ensure you don't skip any areas.
Lumps and asymmetries can be normal especially during various points in the menstrual cycle and your breast, like everything else will change with age. If you find these changes it is important NOT TO PANIC, but to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to further investigate it.
So we’ve hit home that early detection makes for more successful outcomes. What are your options for early detection besides being vigilant with self exams? Notice that options is plural there! Did you know there are other types of screenings?
Mammography, which is the standard procedure used in screening for breast cancer, has its limitations. Technological advances in infrared cameras, sensors and AI software have demonstrated Infrared thermography to be more advanced than existing modalities used for screenings.
We are not saying to skip your annual mammogram! Only that there are other options in addition for even earlier detection.
Infrared technology has revolutionized the field of diagnostics. It has been used, at certain wavelengths, to stimulate cellular and tissue healing, reduce pain and inflammation and accelerate wound healing. Infrared technology is also used to monitor vital signs, heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature on patients. It is an amazing piece of technology gaining more and more popularity in its usages for early detection of breast cancer.
Infrared technology or thermal images utilize infrared cameras to capture heat patterns emitted by tissues. (There is an entire biology lesson here I am going to spare you which involves your nervous system, this is why we use thermal imaging in our office.)
Cancer cells typically have a higher metabolic rate, leading to increased blood flow and elevated temperatures in the affected area. These temperature variations can be captured by infrared cameras sooner than a mammogram and it's not radiation. So basically you can see the physiological change in a tissue prior to a pathological change. That means EXTRA EARLY detection.
I have personally gone to Aqua Blue in Lancaster and it was great but the bottom line is, do your homework. Ask the questions.
So to all my ladies, get feeling and consider adding a thermal scan to your annual routine!
Rakhunde MB, Gotarkar S, Choudhari SG. Thermography as a Breast Cancer Screening Technique: A Review Article. Cureus. 2022 Nov 8;14(11):e31251. doi: 10.7759/cureus.31251. PMID: 36505165; PMCID: PMC9731505.