Today’s newsletter is Part 2 of a two-part series clarifying the question of why DITI may sometimes “miss” a tumor. We began this discussion in our February 2016 newsletter. To read this newsletter entitled: Understanding Breast DITI – Part 1, you may click here (http://phs-thermography.blogspot.com).
Again, we strive to convey accurate and reliable information regarding
what thermography can detect and how it is best utilized as a tool for
monitoring breast health.
In this edition, we address some of the Frequently Asked Questions.
If a tumor is not active, dormant, or not exhibiting any
temperature differentials does that mean it's not significant and I won't need
to do anything?
Cancer is unpredictable and it wouldn't be prudent to make such a
far-reaching assumption. The truth is we don't know that it isn't significant.
We encourage you to talk to a medical practitioner about what options there are
regarding this finding.
If a tumor is established, would this been seen in a
Older, more established tumors can be radiographically dense and therefore
have a higher chance of being seen by a mammogram. However, there is no test
that has 100% detection rate. On average, mammography will miss 1 in every 6
If I've had annual mammograms and they were all negative, would
it be okay if I don't have any more? (Then I could just use thermography
Understand that mammography's biggest limitation as an effective
screening tool is breast density. As we age, breast density
diminishes and the effectiveness of mammography would possibly increase.
Although you may have had a negative mammogram several years ago, your breast
density may have changed in such a way that what was difficult to see previously
is now easier to visualize. This would likely increase the effectiveness of
detection of tumors possibly not seen thermographically.
There has been a lot in the news about Stage 0 (DCIS) breast
cancer not actually being a malignancy, can DITI see this type of breast
We actually have written about this research finding in another edition of
our newsletter titled: The Dilemma of Stage 0 - DCIS.
(http://phs-thermography.blogspot.com) and we understand the
concern about this type of finding. DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ is a small
pileup of abnormal cells in the lining of the milk duct. You cannot feel it
because there is nothing to be felt; there is no lump. But the cells can be seen
in a mammogram, and when a pathologist examines them, they can look like cancer
cells. The cells have not broken free of the milk duct or invaded the breast.
And they may never break free. The lesion might go away on its own or it might
invade the breast or spread throughout the body. That raises questions about
what, if anything, to do about it.
It is often called Stage 0 cancer, but researchers say their view of cancer
is changing. They used to think cancers began as clusters of abnormal cells, and
unless destroyed, the cells would inevitably grow and spread and kill. Clusters
of abnormal cells like DCIS can sometimes disappear, stop growing or simply
remain in place and never cause a problem. The suspicion is that the abnormal
cells may be harmless and may not require treatment. But no one has done a
rigorous study comparing outcomes for women who get treatment to those who get
no treatment. From a thermography perspective: Again, because all cancers
behave differently, we may not see any changes on your
thermogram, especially if the cells stop growing or remain in the milk duct and
not develop further. For more information specific to Stage 0 – DCIS, visit
our blog and scroll down to our post October 2015. (http://phs-thermography.blogspot.com)
Can I have a thermogram every other year?
Preventive screenings are best utilized annually for comparative studies to
help determine your “trend” over time. Are you trending toward inflammation and
away from health? Our interpreting thermologists make this statement with
respects to thermograms: Annual screening is the optimal time frame in
ascertaining personal variants and reducing the chance of false-negative thermal
findings. False-negative thermal findings may occur when the study interval is
more than one year as the human body may have accommodated or encapsulated
cancer cells and in that case, the developed cancer has become thermographically
Ultimately, it's your responsibility to look at all the data, talk to your
doctor and decide what the best plan is for you. See chart below.
Screening thermography has the opportunity to detect changes
at any stage in the development from the first year through to when a tumor is
dense enough to be seen with mammography. Ideally, if change is detected it’s
best to work with your doctor to evaluate this and make clinical recommendations
and possibly prescribe other diagnostic testing.
Earlier detection may lead to earlier diagnosis and possibly more treatment
options. Ideally, it would be best to optimize breast health and
prevent the advancement of disease.
Brenda and Lynda Witt