Back in my early 20’s I didn’t know such a thing existed.
I remember laying on the doctors table, after having an ultrasound done on my breasts. Fibrocystic breast disease was my diagnosis (a condition where your breasts feel really lumpy making detecting an actual malignant lump difficult), and the next thing I needed to do was go schedule a mammogram.
A mammogram at about 23?! That didn’t sound right. All I knew about mammograms was having my mom tell me how much having her breast tissue smashed in some kind of mid-evil torture device hurt like hell.
Instead of dealing with getting a mammogram, I decided to forgo it and take matters into my own hands with appropriate lifestyle changes.
Flash forward to 2017. I’m 30 now and started to become alarmed after a couple of months in a row of dealing with pain in my left breast (I call her Tina ?) before my moon cycle. Never had I had this level of pain in my breasts before, and with me having fibrocystic breasts I wanted to be sure I didn’t ignore it.
With me following a more holistic, granola crunching lifestyle I knew I didn’t want to go the route of mammograms after learning Switzerland abolished them and that not only do mammograms compress sensitive tissue causing increased pain & tissue damage but studies suggest that annual mammogram screening significantly increases breast cancer risk in women with a genetic or familia predisposition to breast cancer AND most mammograms provide false positive results. To me the benefits did not outweigh the risks.
So I decided to go a more safe route.
Thermography is a little known technique for breast cancer detection that’s been around since the ’60’s. It’s radiation & pain free, non invasive and non toxic.
How it works is they use an infrared camera to measure the thermal emissions from ones body/breasts. Essentially what they’re looking for is increased levels of heat radiating from different areas of the body, because they know excess heat is a sign of inflammation which is a precursor to cancer and other DIS-eases.
So I went to Integrative Wellness Center in Roseville California to get myself all thermographed up (yeah it’s not a term, but whateves).
I had the option to do a breast thermography reading or an entire body scan done. I opted for an entire body scan since I wanted to have an idea of how all of this healthy shit I do for my body & health is working for me.
The people at Integrative Wellness Center were very kind and professional. Upon walking into the room where the camera was set up, some patient history questions were discussed. I had to strip down entirely naked, put on this little cotton set of undies they supplied me with, pull back my hair into a pony tail, and stand around for a bit with my legs spread eagle and with my arms in the “touchdown” position that refs make in order to let those areas cool down from the heat that’s built up from them being closed up. Afterwards several rounds of photos were shot- face, breasts, abdomen/back, legs, arms, hands, & feet.
My results were mailed to me with a brief breakdown of my findings.
Kinda crazy looking isn’t it? But what do the colors signify?
Cool colors- purple, blue, and green are good, nothing to worry about
Warm colors- yellow, orange, and red are meant to be taken seriously. Do these colors mean cancerous death? No, but it waves a proverbial red flag as to… HEY PAY SOME FUCKING ATTENTION TO THIS.
So as it turns out, Tina and Bev (Bev being my right tit) are pretty much cool as a cucumber. There’s some areas to be mindful of, but THANKFULLY they’re “average” in terms of health. There are definitely spots to be mindful of- the inside areas of my breasts, and my left armpit- but through some holistic health routes which I’ll discuss in later blogs, I plan on reversing the state of the health of my girls.
Here’s what the results said:
As you can see, your breasts get a TH rating. TH1 & 2 are normal, TH3’s are questionable while TH4 & 5 are abnormal. When I called Integrative Wellness to go over my results, the technician said when she first started doing thermography 20 years ago, MOST women were TH2, but now most women fall within the TH3 range meaning- breast health is declining (I have my speculations as to why that is, but I’ll discuss that in some future blog posts).
So now armed with this information, I have a baseline for how my breasts (and full body) health are. I will be going back in December to get another breast thermography done to see how the holistic routes I am doing to help reverse the health of my breasts work.
As for the full body thermography, I learned of some things I need to receive further medical testing for…
Okay, so this photo freaked my out. Immediate negative thoughts of
“holy shit, I have neck cancer, I’m going to die, look at my head” flooded through my mind, but I turned that hypochondriac little manic voice off inside my head and after speaking to the technician she helped to calm me down. Basically a lot of the heat in the sides of my neck is due to the heat of my veins… BUT, and that’s a BIG BUT, she suggested I get some tests done on my thyroid since theres so much heat there. They also suggested I get back into the dentist to evaluate the health of some cavities I had filled since theres so inflammation/heat radiating from my teeth/jaw.
And while I wont bore you with my legs, arms, hands, and feet images, since they are pretty vanilla and normal, I did want to share this as well. I thought this photo was pretty cool/crazy. I deal with pain in ALL OF THESE AREAS that are super red/orange and yellow. Albeit, it’s not 24/7 pain, but imma tell you what, if I just lift something with even slightly shitty form, DAAAAMN do these areas in my back & neck light up like the damn 4th of July. So it was recommended that I see a professional to get help with my back pain.
Overall, I was very intrigued by the whole process, even receiving my results. Some people would be freaked the fccuuukkk out to get something like this done, but to me, I use it as a proactive means to help my health. I would rather know whats going on, so I can do something about it, than find out at the last second and have to scramble to try to save myself.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever heard of thermography before? Would you opt for it rather than a mammogram? Or is it a bunch of crazy talk?