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News Breast Thermography

Development of the Breast Thermography technique in History

Cancer is a disease with the highest number of patients treated and currently, there are an estimated 2.6 million breast cancer survivors, but the National Cancer Institute estimated there would be as many as 226,870 women diagnosed. This makes it essential to have a screening strategy that can provide early detection. The FDA approves of mammograms for breast cancer detection but there are other tests that can help the early detection of cancer including breast cancer.

Approved Cancer Testing

The FDA approved other screening tools for early detection of cancer with MRI and ultrasounds and later approved in combination with mammograms ultrasound, thermography, and CT scans. Prior to the approval of MRI or ultrasounds for detection of cancer thermography for breast cancer showed validly in being able to provide accurate results in breast imaging testing. The FDA approved thermography referred to as infrared digital imaging as a tool for the breast that is able to provide an image showing differences in breast tissue based on temperature.

Pre-2000 Thermography History

One of the first papers submitted about thermography was written by Dr. Ray Lawson in 1956. This paper was entitled Implications of Surface Temperatures in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer. The paper involved 26 women with breast cancer that showed the temperature in the area of the tumor of the ipsilateral areola was higher than surrounding breast tissue. During this time period, there was no other screening procedure other than clinical examination. Mammography was being researched at the same time Dr. Lawson was researching thermography.

In 1972 Dr. Harold Lsard published a paper about the accuracy of mammograms and thermograms both used together and separately. This was a 4-year study conducted between 1967 and 1970 with the screening of 10,055 women. This study showed in women with symptoms using clinical breast examinations, mammograms and thermograms the groups were correctly diagnosed 82 %, 85 %, and 72 %. Then when mammography and thermography were used together the accuracy of diagnosis increased from 85 % to 92 %. Now in 1972, mammogram used alone was 83 % accurate and thermography alone was 61 % accurate. Though used in combination it rated the highest percentage of accuracy.

Studies from the 1990’s into the 2000’s

The studies continued with thermography and with technology the testing advanced to become more accurate in capturing heat related images of breast skin and tissue. It is now believed that thermal image can detect carcinogenic changes and the increased blood flow may be able to be seen 5 to 10 years before the development of a lesion that is detectable. One study conducted by Jonathan F. Head of Medical Thermal Diagnostics, Baton Rouge in 2000 researched three groups from a study that began in 1973 of patients who used thermography.

This study conducted in 1973 was conducted at the Elliott Mastology Center and the patients had thermography testing at least one year prior to diagnosis of breast cancer. There were three groups in this study with group 1 having abnormal thermograms at 88 %, of 126 women who later died. Group 2 involved 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer at 65 %. Group 3 showed 28 % of women with benign mastopathies.

Thermography continues to advance in technology and techniques with developments and combined with mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI testing the accuracy of early breast cancer detection has increased. Thermography is not ready for use as a singular tool for detecting breast cancer, but with technology advances, it is a valuable tool that may reach a point where it can be used as the main tool to detect cancer.

This is a test that does not involve radiation and is noninvasive making it a test reliable enough to be used in between mammograms where possible breast cancer has been diagnosed.

Get to know how breast thermography works here.

How is Breast Thermography Performed and What Are The Pre-Examination Instructions?

If having thermography imaging done it is a medical procedure in combination with other breast examination testing. This testing is non-invasive and completely painless without any form of radiation unlike some other types of testing. Because the infrared testing does not use radiation it is safe for women who are either pregnant or nursing and who have had surgical procedures like biopsies, implants or breast reductions. The testing can also be done during the menstrual cycle and this will have no effect on the results of the test. This is a thorough process that can provide early detection and monitor the progress of breast cancer. Though unlike some other testing there is a more involved procedure and pre-examination requirements.

The first step will be the intake form that will include previous testing, pain diagrams, surgeries, and daily life questions to provide pertinent information for the testing assessment.

The Testing Procedure

When going for thermography testing the procedure begins with removing clothing from the waist up and then a visual inspection of the breasts. The person undergoing the test will be left for about 15 minutes for the breast and body skin temperature to reach. The temperature of this room that is temperature controlled. Then the person having this test will be positioned in front of the machine that will do the infrared imaging with the arms positioned over the head. The imaging will be done on the surfaces of the breasts, the upper chest, and underarms.

Pre-Examination Infrared Imaging Instructions

Before having thermography imaging testing done there are instructions that must be adhered to for the results to be accurate. Some are common sense such as not using cream, oil, lotions or powders and not shaving on the day of the exam. Then there are other pre-testing rules that must be followed for good test results.

  • This testing should not take place for at least 4 weeks after a biopsy of the breast, no matter whether it is a fine needle or core biopsy.
  • After a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy thermogram testing should not be done for at least 8 weeks.
  • Any medical procedures done within the past 12 weeks should be made known prior to scheduling the thermography testing.
  • Sunbathing breasts should not be done for at least 5 days before testing is done.
  • Chiropractic, TENS, electronic muscle stimulation and physical therapy should not be done for at least 24 hours prior to the testing.
  • Steam rooms and saunas should not be used at least 24 hours prior to testing.
  • Mothers that nurse should not nurse at least an hour prior to the infrared testing.
  • Bathing should not be done prior to the test and showering should not be done within an hour of the test.

Following Instructions is essential to ensure the infrared testing has accurate results. Since any of the items listed that should not be done could change the test results giving either a false reading or a negative reading.

Breast Cancer Technology Overview

Cancer is the leading cause of deaths all over the world. Breast cancer is the number two killer of women in the United States followed by Lung Cancer. In the United States in 2009 there were an estimated 40,610 people, both men, and women that were believed would die from breast cancer. The data shows that patients that survive cancer have an early diagnosis at stage 0 or stage 1 at 98 % over 10 years. This is where technology for early cancer detection is improving testing.

Breast Cancer Technology

There are new technologies in development for the early detection of breast cancer and out of 23 new technologies; only ten have been approved so far by the FDA. Three of these approved are film mammography, digital mammography, and computer aided detection. There are other tools approved but not recommended for singular use but in combination with other testing tools. Positron emission tomography (PET) is one of the approved tools to monitor patient response to treatment for breast cancer. Though this is not a tool to be used for diagnosis or screening for breast cancer.

Approval by the FDA does not mean the tool used for testing is infallible or produces accurate and early testing results in every case. The agency also does not back claims made by manufacturers of these testing devices.

These are the top five approved by the FDA

  • Screen-film mammography was approved by the FDA in 1969, which is an x-ray through the breast tissue that shows denser tissue that is associated with cancer. This dense tissue will appear on the screen-film as white areas.
  • Sonography was approved by the FDA in 1977 as a noninvasive handheld device that reflects sound waves that construct an image that can show abnormalities. This known more commonly by the name ultrasound and can be used in combination with mammograms.
  • Thermography was approved by the FDA in 1982 and uses an infrared digital camera to measure the heat from breast tissue and surface temperature. Higher tissue temperatures are associated with increased vascularities that may be a blood supply to tumors. This testing is used in combination with mammograms.
  • Computer aided detection was FDA approved in 1998 for clinical screening. This tool uses computer algorithms that can show areas on mammograms that should be reviewed by a radiologist.
  • Digital mammography is a digital format for mammograms instead of using film and was approved by the FDA in 2000 to screen for breast cancer.

More Types of Testing Technology

The MRI is used in testing for diagnosing cancer and can create 2 and 3D images. This is a technology that uses magnetic quality imaging by a magnetic field and radio waves to create the image. This testing is close to 100 % in cases of invasive cancer and has a higher sensitivity rate than mammograms. This is a tool used most often for diagnosis of familial and genetic breast cancers.

  • Electronic palpation is a tool used that applies sensors to record resistance of tissues if pressure is applied to develop density maps used in detecting lumps in the breast. This is used in place of a manual clinical breast examination and can measure the size of lesions.
  • Elastography is a tool that maps the breast tissue for mechanical properties and can recognize abnormal tissue. This is a mechanical vibration with imaging similar to an ultrasound in its technology.
  • Diffraction enhanced imaging (DEI) is a modification of mammography but is in the early stages of development. This tool has an increased radiographic contrast that uses a silicon crystal between the patient and film or digital detector so the crystal diffracts certain wavelengths of an x-ray to produce two images. This can show different density and possibly provide more detail to detect tumors in the breast tissue.

Ultrasound Types

There are different types of ultrasounds that can be useful in early detection of breast cancer and they include:

  • Ultrasonography can be referred to as sonommography that can be used to test for abnormal breast tissue results after a mammogram is conducted. This test is done using a handheld device called a transducer. Because of the use of the handheld device to move around the breast, it is possible to miss parts of the breast. The transducer sends an image to a screen and must be retained by the technologist to be read.
  • Mode B ultrasounds is an ultrasound that uses waves that bounce off of the breast tissue creating an image of the breast and abnormalities are identified by the brightness in the image. This type of ultrasound can detect palpable masses that mammograms cannot detect. The Mode B ultrasound is often used to guide biopsies since it is a real time imaging tool. This kind of ultrasound is safe for use on women that are pregnant or nursing that requires breast cancer testing because it does not produce radiation.

Early Detection Guidelines for Breast Cancer

All women should have regular self-breast health checks and this should be taken to the next step for some women that are at a high risk. This step will include clinical examinations and testing for early detection of breast cancer. Women should have annual clinical exams and tests like thermography screening.

Who May Be at a Risk?

There are women who may be at an average risk for breast cancer who doesn’t have a history of this kind of cancer personally but has a family history of breast cancer. Then there are women with a genetic mutation like BRCA1 or BRAC2 that increases the risk of breast cancer. Having a family history of breast cancer includes the woman’s mother or sister diagnosed at a younger age. A woman with a personal history of ductal carcinoma in situ, which is a non-invasive breast cancer starting in the milk ducts.

This type of cancer may be referred to as stage 0 or pre-invasive breast carcinoma. Women that have had lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) which are abnormal cells that grow in the lobules of the breast. BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 are breast cancer genes 1 and 2 that are a gene mutation that is inherited, which can increase the risk of breast cancer. Women that have a history of invasive breast cancer or atypical hyperplasia, which are rapidly growing cells that appear abnormal under microscopic conditions. Women who between ages 10 and 30 have undergone radiation treatment.

Guidelines for Women at Risk of Breast Cancer

The women that have a risk of the disease there are medical guidelines to catch the possible progression of breast cancer at the earliest point. This will include clinical physical examination, a mammogram, thermal imaging testing and possible ultrasound. Medical guidelines include:

  • BRCA 1 and BRCA 2: Women at risk for this gene mutation because of a family history should be tested between ages 25 and 29. This includes mammograms annually and MIR, other testing including infrared imaging and ultrasounds every six to twelve months.
  • LCIS: Women diagnosed with LCIS should have a clinical breast exam, mammogram, MRI and can include thermal imaging starting at age 30 every six to twelve months.
  • Atypical Hyperplasia: Women with this diagnosis at age 30 should discuss testing with their physician every six to twelve months.
  • Personal history of Breast Cancer: Women with a personal history of breast cancer should have annual mammograms and up to four times a year they should have other testing like infrared imaging and ultrasounds for the first 5 years after treatment ends.
  • DCIS: Women diagnosed with DCIS should have annual mammograms and other kinds of testing up to four times a year for the first 5 years after treatment ends.

Women with Average to Low Risk

  • Ages 40 – 44: Start screening annually with a mammogram.
  • 55 and older: At these ages, women should have an annual mammogram.

How Does Breast Thermography Work?

Thermography might be a name that isn’t recognized since may also be referred to more commonly as thermal imaging that uses a special camera to measure the breast surface skin temperature. This type of screening is non-invasive and involves no radiation like other types of mammograms. This painless state of the art test is used as a part of an early breast disease detection program. In women under 50, it can be extremely useful testing, since mammography may not have satisfactory results until after this age. The reason this test is important is that breast thermography is a way to detect breast disease early. Detection can be earlier using this form of testing than is possible through mammography, doctor examinations or self-examination. It can detect subtle physiologic changes that maybe an infection, vascular disease, fibrocystic disease or cancer.

Traditional Methods and Principles of Thermography

https://vimeo.com/62767142

Currently the regular methods of detecting the signs of breast cancer primarily consist of a physical examination and mammography. The other further testing that may be used are ultrasounds and the MRI that can detect if a tumor is present. The use of digital infrared imaging is based on a different principle so it can detect changes another testing may not recognize. These are changes other testing is unable to see since this kind of imaging can detect increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes or thermal signs. This testing is able to detect the metabolic activity and vascular circulation in precancerous tissue and developing breast cancer. Since it is generally a higher temperature than normal breast tissue and it can detect tumors that are not large enough to be detected by a physical examination.

This testing known as thermography is based on two principles:

  • Metabolism and blood flow increases result in skin temperature rising.
  • Cancer cells grow and multiply fast and metabolism is higher in a cancer tumor.

Studies and the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society does not recommend thermography alone even though it has been available for decades. But they do in combination with traditional methods of screening. One reason for this decision by the cancer society is there have been no studies that have shown it is a tool that can detect breast cancer early. Thermography is unable to find deeper cancers in the breast and small cancers. Researchers are working to improve new versions of the testing with this tool to improve its usefulness and accuracy that will make it an invaluable tool.

Facts about Thermography Imaging

Good to Know

1. Does Thermography Imaging Replace Mammograms?

The short answer is no infrared testing is not a replacement for mammograms. Instead, it is testing to be used in combination with physical examinations and mammograms. This testing has the ability to pick up thermal markers for the risk of cancer and other breast diseases that might be missed by other types of testing. By using infrared testing along with other tests available it can increase the chance of early detection of breast cancer.

2. What Qualifications are needed for Infrared Imaging?

Health care providers that are clinically trained to interoperate thermographic images are MD, DC, and DO who hold credentials as Board Certified Clinical Thermographers. The person doing the infrared imaging is a staff member who is a certified Thermographic Technician.

3. Has there been Studies Conducted on Thermal Imaging?

There currently have been more than 800 peer review studies conducted on thermography used in breast infrared digital testing in the index Medicus Literature. The studies include over 300,000 female participants with the numbers varied for each study and some studies that follow the women for as long as 12 years.

4. Is Thermographic Imaging Safe and Painless?

Infrared imaging is completely safe using no radiation like other testing may subject the person having the testing done. It is also painless since unlike mammograms this testing the imaging is done without a need to have the breast touch the machine.

General Infrared Imaging Questions

1. Why is Thermographic Imaging Useful?

Thermographic imaging is digital infrared imaging has the ability to show a thermal image that can detect issues that another type of testing or physical examination might not. It also is a testing able to detect temperature differences that may be caused by cell changes. The testing results in a thermal digitized image of the breast in an infrared picture.

2. What is the Accuracy of Thermal Imaging in Detecting Breast Cancer?

The infrared images are referred to as thermograms. Recently Canadian researchers confirmed an 83 % positive result with thermograms and 84 % with mammography. Then the percentage for clinical breast examinations had a result of 61 %. The mammogram and infrared imaging combined reached 95 % accuracy for detecting breast cancer.

3. Does Infrared Imaging Replace Mammograms?

Thermal imaging is not a replacement for mammograms, but rather a tool to be used in combination with mammograms, clinical breast examinations, and ultra sounds. Though, it can be used more often than some other forms of testing to follow the progression of breast cancer once diagnosed since it has no radiation associated with the testing.

4. What Makes a Thermographic Imaging Different Than Other Testing?

Thermographic imaging is a digital infrared thermal imaging, which is a testing of physiology. Mammograms and ultrasounds are both anatomy testing. Mammograms are a type of x-ray that will only show cancerous tumors when they have grown large enough to show up in this kind of testing. Ultrasounds produce an image that must then be read by a radiologist. None of these tests can determine a mass or change in breast cells is cancerous, but they can detect the problem. A biopsy will then be done and tested to find out if it is malignant or benign.

5. How Long Will it Take to Get the Results from the Test?

Generally, the report from the infrared imaging test will be mailed in approximately two weeks. Though, if there is a concern the results can be sent much faster, especially if it is prior to a surgical procedure. In order to get the results faster, there will usually be an additional fee.

6. Is Infrared Image Testing Covered by Health Insurance?

It will depend on the individual’s health insurance coverage whether this type of testing is covered since there are some procedures that not all insurance policies cover. Though the cost of the testing is reasonable and can be paid for personally.

Times to have Thermal Image Testing Done

1. Should Thermal Image Testing be Done More than One Time?

Yes, this is a test that should be done more than once with the first establishing a baseline to work from. Then a second infrared test should be done approximately three months later and then have this testing done annually. The two tests can provide the information necessary to compare each test and detect any suspicious changes in the breast tissue. In patients with a high risk of breast cancer, their physician may determine how often thermal image tests should be done.

2. If a Mammogram Result is Questionable Should Infrared Testing be Done?

In a case where a mammogram comes back with questionable or possible positive results, a thermographic image test should be done. This testing can help contribute to the data the physician has to decide the next steps to take if the digital infrared test results show breast cell changes.

Breast Thermography Indications, Contraindications and Limitations

Thermography is an infrared imaging that can detect changes in breast tissue and produce a high-resolution image of the breast skin temperature. The image can then be analyzed using thermal vascular mapping for skin temperature and changes, even the slightest change. This is testing that has guidelines with some specific protocols in place. It also has some limitations in certain situations that can dictate the necessity for the infrared testing and how it can benefit the overall treatment plan.

Infrared Imaging Indications

In cases that infrared imaging used there are guidelines and with indications it can assess changes in breast tissue early. The indications include:

  • The vasomotor mapping of breast skin temperature and skin vascular patterning.
  • Physiologic response of breast tissue monitoring.
  • Monitoring of breast temperature and vascular patterning for post mastectomy, post breast reconstruction, fibrocystic disease, or because of radiation concerns.
  • The infrared imaging can be used in combination with radiation therapy and chemotherapy as a way to monitor.

Contraindications

Contraindications are situations that the procedure should not be used or caution should be used if the testing is done. This can include patients using the infrared imaging as the only method of diagnosing, and with mastectomy patients, it can be a unique situation. In cases where full consent cannot be obtained protocols must be in place for the procedure to take place.

Limitations

One limitation this kind of testing in rare cases it is possible a false negative can result. Generally, it is in cases where the issue is deeper within the tissue. Another way a false negative can exist is if symmetric, bilateral pathologies co-exist.

Avoiding Problems and Getting Accurate Results

Prior to this testing to make certain it is accurate there are some rules that should be followed. These are similar to other types of testing that have certain restrictions to ensure accurate results including not using creams, lotions or powders the day of the exam. The person having the infrared imaging should not smoke for at least four hours before the test. Also, deodorants should be avoided and shaving under arms the day of the testing. The technician should be made aware of any medications, especially the use of beta blockers.

The testing is assessed using criteria other than the imaging, including age, weight, points are added for age at pregnancy, the number of years on birth control and if hormones have been taken.

Thermographie der Brust

Thermographie der Brust

Jedes Kind weiß, dass es bei Fieber eine heiße Stirn hat. Auch Tumore geben Wärme ab, die mit einer Thermografie verlässlich festgestellt werden können.

Was ist eine Thermografie?

Nicht nur mit dem Handrücken, wie Ärzte schon früher und Mütter auch noch heute, sondern mit moderner Technik und elektronischen Messgeräten ist es möglich, die abgestrahlte Wärme an der Haut des Menschen zu messen. Es stimmt, mit einer Thermografie kann man nicht nur Wärmeverluste an Hausfassaden feststellen und Heizkosten sparen, sondern auch in der Krebsfrüherkennung Alternativen versuchen. Mittels farbiger Bilder lässt sich zum Beispiel auch die Brust darstellen.

Erstaunlich ist, dass diese Art der Untersuchung schon lange bekannt ist. Schon 1957 berichtete der kanadische Chirurg Dr. Ray Lawson, dass es gelungen sei, mit einer Thermografie, die ursprünglich für militärische Zwecke erfunden und genutzt wurde, auch Krebs zu erkennen. Fast alle Tumore erwärmen die darüber liegende Haut um etwa ein Grad Celsius. Mit einer Thermografie ist eine bildliche Aufzeichnung schmerzfrei, sicher und ohne Belastung durch Strahlen möglich.

Warum ist die Stelle über einem Tumor wärmer?

Krebszellen teilen sich schneller als die umliegenden, gesunden Zellen und benötigen dazu eine größere Blutzufuhr sowie mehr Nährstoffe. Rund um aktive Krebszellen entstehen vermehrt Blutzellen, um den Tumor gut versorgen zu können. An einer Stelle mehr Blut im Gewebe bedeutet daher mehr Hitze an dieser Stelle. Durch das vegetative Nervensystem eines Menschen wird auch die Temperatur geregelt. Tumore werden durch das vegetative Nervensystem in geringerem Ausmaß gesteuert als normales, gesundes Gewebe. Dadurch ist es noch leichter möglich, die Temperaturunterschiede aufzuspüren.

Wenn beispielsweise die Brüste mit kühler Luft in Berührung kommen, wird der Blutfluss in das gesunde Gewebe durch das vegetative Nervensystem verringert. Im Bereich des Tumors ist das nicht so und das Tumorgewebe wird als heiß wahrgenommen und dargestellt.

Thermodiagnostik

Auf die Brüste wird bei dieser Untersuchung kühle Luft geblasen. Es werden vorher und nachher Aufnahmen gemacht und man erhält eine Regulations-Thermographie. Eine Serie von Aufnahmen kann später zu Vergleichszwecken verwendet werden. In einer gesunden Brust verändert sich das thermografische Bild nicht. Die Asymmetrie der Temperaturverteilung ist ein weiterer wichtiger Punkt bei der Deutung der Messungen.

Für erfahrene Thermografologen ist es mit Hilfe der Wärmebilder des Infrarot-Messgerätes bei der medizinischen Thermografie möglich, wertvolle Hinweise auf eventuell vorliegende Erkrankungen zu finden oder auszuschließen. Bei einer Thermografie kann ein möglicher Tumor schon bei der Größe eines Stecknadelkopfes entdeckt werden. Man spricht davon, dass es schon ab einer Größe von 256 Zellen möglich ist.

Eine Mammografie kann einen Tumor erst ab einer Größe von vier Milliarden Zellen zeigen. Das kann bedeuten, dass ein Tumor schon sechs bis zehn Jahre früher entdeckt und behandelt werden könnte, da mit einer Thermografie sogar schon die frühe Phase der Bildung neuer Blutgefäße dargestellt werden kann. Das ist die Voraussetzung für die Versorgung des Tumors in der Brust. In der Frühphase kann ein Tumor relativ einfach gestoppt und beseitigt werden.

Wie wird eine Thermografie vorgenommen?

Die Untersuchung dauert nur rund drei Minuten. Dabei steht die Frau mit entblößten Brüsten drei Meter von dem Gerät entfernt. Auf dem Monitor sind die farbigen Bilder sofort sichtbar. Mittels der dazugehörigen Software und der Erfahrung des Untersuchenden kann das Ergebnis der Thermografie rasch interpretiert werden. Die Untersuchung ist einfach, bereitet keine Schmerzen und es gibt keine Strahlenbelastung für die Frau.

Übliche Brustkrebs-Vorsorgeuntersuchungen

Bei der Brustkrebs Früherkennung kommen nach den standardisierten Leitlinien Mammografie, Sonografie und eventuell auch MRT zur Anwendung. Durch das Mammografie-Screening wurde die Früherkennung von Brustkrebs erheblich verbessert. Expertinnen und Experten sind der Meinung, dass neben den seit Jahren ergänzend angewandten Ultraschalluntersuchungen der Brust durch andere komplementäre, also ergänzende Verfahren weitere Verbesserungen vorgenommen werden könnten. Eine dieser Möglichkeiten ist die Thermografie der Brust.

Standardmäßig wird das Screening für Frauen ab dem fünfzigsten Lebensjahr empfohlen. Immer wieder äußern Kritiker der Mammografie die Vermutung, dass die Röntgenstrahlen bei der Mammografie die Brust und den Körper einen negativen Einfluss haben und sogar ein erhöhtes Brustkrebsrisiko darstellen, gerade für jüngere Frauen soll durch zu viele Röntgenstrahlen ein höheres Risiko bestehen an Brustkrebs zu erkranken. Durch wissenschaftliche Studien ist das allerdings keinesfalls belegt.

Bei jungen Frauen ist das Brustgewebe zudem so dicht, dass es bei der Erkennung von Tumoren durch Mammografie Grenzen und Probleme geben kann. Eine Thermografie wird dagegen bei dichtem Gewebe nicht ungenau, belastet nicht und kann bedenkenlos schon in jungen Jahren vorgenommen werden. Einige Ärzte sind deshalb der Meinung, dass eine Brustkrebsvorsorge durch eine zusätzliche Thermografie durchgeführt werden sollte.

Negative Aspekte der Mammographie

Neben den Grenzen der Mammografie bei dichtem Gewebe, ist die Brust während der Untersuchung mechanischem Druck durch das Einquetschen der Brust ausgesetzt, welches gerade für Frauen mit empfindlichen Brüsten als sehr schmerzhaft und unangenehm empfunden werden kann. Bei alleiniger Mammografie muss, falls ein irgendwie auffälliger Befund entsteht, eine für die Frau äußerst belastende Biopsie vorgenommen werden.

Kritische Stimmen meinen daher, dass allein durch die Mammografie die Brustkrebssterblichkeit nicht gesenkt werden kann, auch wenn sie weiterhin als wirksamste Methode zur Früherkennung eingesetzt wird. Frauen werden durch solche Aussagen verunsichert.

Vorteile der Thermografie

Dass abstrahlende Wärme ein Zeichen für eine Erkrankung sein könnte, ist schon seit Jahrhunderten bekannt. Hochmoderne Geräte eröffnen nun viele Möglichkeiten unter großer Sicherheit der Frauen medizinische Thermografien durchzuführen. Über die Darstellung der Durchblutungssituation der Haut können Anomalien der Temperaturverteilung leicht erkannt werden.

Wenn Muskeln, Knochen und Gelenke gesund sind, zeigt sich keine außergewöhnliche Erwärmung. Ein im Auswerten einer Thermografie geschulter und geübter Untersuchender bekommt nicht nur diagnostische Hinweise auf einzelne Körperregionen, er kann sogar Einblick in den gesamten Gesundheitszustand eines Menschen erhalten.
Die Aufnahmen können schlecht durchblutete Areale aufzeigen und beim Auffinden von Durchblutungsstörungen hilfreich angewandt werden. Diese Art der Thermografie kann für Diabetiker und eventuell auftretende Störungen in den Extremitäten Verwendung finden.

Mit einer Thermografie sind oft schon sehr früh Störungen erkennbar und sie eröffnet neue Vorsorgemöglichkeiten, um Schwachstellen früh zu erkennen und behandeln zu können, wenn sie noch keinen großen Schaden angerichtet haben. Ein weiterer Punkt, der für die Thermografie spricht, ist, dass damit sogar kontrolliert werden kann, ob eine Therapie bei einer Brustkrebserkrankung erfolgreich anschlägt, ob sie wirkt. Fortschritte bei der Gesundung nach einer Brustkrebserkrankung können mit dieser guten, sicheren, sehr genauen und kostengünstigen Untersuchungsmethode, ergänzend zur Mammografie, festgestellt und kontrolliert werden.

Es ist zu hoffen, dass die Fortschritte bei der Brustkrebs-Früherkennung durch die Thermografie von immer mehr Ärzten angewendet werden, und erkrankten Frauen dadurch viel Leid erspart werden kann.