One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women
Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more that 40,000 will die
Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnose with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year
These facts speak for themselves and alert us to the reality that not much progress has been made in the prevention of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, "Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are "sporadic", meaning there is no direct family history of the disease."
In 1982, the FDA (American Food and Drug Administration) approved medical thermography as an adjunctive test in breast cancer screening. So the two big questions, that are asked all of the time, are:
- Why is breast thermography no longer included in yearly screenings in the U.S.?
- Why doesn't insurance cover breast thermography as an annual screening?
Q: Initially it was asked if thermography was more accurate than mammography?
A: You can not compare tests of physiology (thermography) and anatomy (mammograaphy).They are very different. In particular, when thermography was tested on younger women, thermographic abnormalities were detected many times but mammograms did not detect any tumors. The results were considered “false positives”. The more patients of younger age screened with the so-called false positive, the more suspicion was placed on thermography. Years later, in re-call studies, a large percentage of these women had developed breast cancer or other breast disease, in the exact location of the abnormal “false-positive” thermogram, thus validating its early warning role. Thermography’s only “error” was that it was too accurate too early and the results couldn’t be corroborated at the time.
Q: Why did insurance coverage stop?
A: Thermography was being used in sports medicine, dentisty, podiatry, chiropractic, orthopedics rheumatology, and neurology in a variety of support or adjunctive diagnostic roles. It was soon realized that thermography could clearly, objectively, and easily demonstrate the physiological component of pain and injury, especially to the spinal column, due to car accidents, job injuries, and a host of other “tort” related law suits. Everyone involved had benefited from these positive test findings, which could be clearly shown to a jury. Everyone that is except the defendant insurance industry. Needless to say, the insurance industry in the United States placed an all-out effort to diminish the value of thermography in courts of law due to high litigation costs. Eventually, lobbying efforts at the AMA’s House of Delegates and at Medicare, brought about the removal of thermographic coverage by most insurance companies and the greatly reduced utilization of thermography in the United States. This was most unfortunate for the patients who could clearly benefit from thermal imaging.
At Thermography Center of Memphis, we are committed to spreading the word about the benefits of breast thermography and we try to keep our costs down so everyone can reap the benefits of our services.