Alternative Tests to Detect Breast Cancer

Good news Ladies-
Boobs are a year round fashion accessory!

Breasts, Tatas, Tits, Jugs, Knockers, Headlights. Big or small, boobs are always in style.

No matter what size or shape you have, they are beautiful and desirable. Men want to touch them. Babies want to eat. And you? Most likely as a woman you just want two things: a really great bra and for your boobs to stay healthy. I will post another time about how to find a good bra, but for now let’s talk about another way to keep your girls in “tip top tit” shape!

Years ago I had a breast health scare. In 2003 I found a lump in my right breast. One morning I work up, stumbled to the potty, stretched and scratched across my chest and BOOM! A lump. Most terrifying moment of my life. I immediately got ALL the tests and ultimately it was determined that I had a node that was irritated by an eczema rash I had on my chest. I had just crawled through six months of garbage health issues, and then, Mother of all Terror- I popped a lymph node. I was 36 years old.

One physical exam, two mammograms and an MRI later, I remember getting the “all clear” call. After hanging up the phone, I flopped on the couch, weeping and limp with relief. Honestly, it took six months for the node to recede, and I had to use super human strength to not check for it every time I showered.

So, why am I sharing this story? First, I want to validate every woman who has gone through any type of health scare, medical issue or has had too many servings of health bullshit on her plate. I am sorry. It is exhausting to fight that mental and physical battle. It sucks. You have my deep empathy.

In the almost two decades since that event, I have been vigilant about my breast health. I believe every woman has the intelligence and right to decide how she cares for her body. Partnering with a doctor that listens to YOU and is responsive to your style of health care is critical. YOU have the power to hire and fire doctors, never forget that girls.

Because of that scary experience I began to explore holistic medicine. The women in my family share more than recipes, most of us have some form of autoimmune disease as well. Primarily low thyroid. When I got serious about my health and began to look for a holistic doctor as a health care partner, I made an informed decision to no longer use mammograms for breast cancer detection. I now choose to get a yearly Thermascan instead of a mammogram. Thermascan is a trademarked name for a procedure known as breast thermography. (I will be using the Thermascan as a shortened substitute for breast thermography in this blog post).

Breast Thermography is a breast scan using a heat imaging camera. Currently, it is believed that most breast cancer starts as inflammation. The thermography photography method is designed to detect elevated levels of heat in the breasts. (That is the most basic definition of the science, please click here for in-depth information supporting the diagnostic procedure.) Like any major health diagnostic test, there is an ongoing discussion on the effectiveness of Thermascan as a preventive tool. My family has a minimal history of female cancer, specifically one great aunt who died of dementia coupled with breast cancer. She was nearly 80 years old at the time of her death. Based on my health history, breast thermography is my choice for safe, accurate testing. I am not opposed to utilizing other methods should the need arise in my health journey.

Read on for a some quick information you should know before scheduling your first Thermascan.

The top 3 things you need to know about a Breast Thermascan:

Absolutely no radiation- a traditional mammogram uses radiation to take an X-ray of your breast tissue. The single largest concern surrounding the use of mammogram for breast cancer detection is the repeated exposure to radiation.

No squeezing or smashing of your boobies– No Tata touching during this test. The technician doesn’t touch your lady twins. You don’t touch your chesticles. No one touches your boobs~yay!! Skills needed for this test? Standing topless with your hands over your head, then putting your hands in ice cold water for a minute, then standing with your hands over your head for the second set of pictures. That’s it. Now, admittedly, the water has ice cubes floating in it, so one minute in ice cold water is not fun, but it is beginner level discomfort.

Completely affordable- my health insurance has NEVER covered this test. I have always paid out of pocket. My first Thermascan was ninety dollars. I just had one done two months ago and it had crept up a bit in price. It was $120.00 out the door, total cost. No follow up bills, or negotiating with health insurance.

(Why do I feel compelled to cue up some type of fighting music now? Maybe “Eye of the Tiger” in honor of the medical, institutional and virtual fistfights that are punching out across the internet in an effort to be THE expert in women’s health care diagnostics!)

Remember~ every woman has the right to decide how she cares for her body. She is free to make health decisions that reflect her principles, understanding and desires. All breast cancer detection tests are valuable tools designed to inform and bring awareness to potential disease.

YOU- DO- YOU- BOO(bies! – see what I did there?)😊

So, after my 40th birthday, I became a patient of a globally recognized holistic medical practice that specializes in thyroid care and breast health. There is some evidence that hypothyroid patients should pay extra attention to their low iodine levels affecting breast health. In fact, thyroid patients should spend some time investigating many of the chronic diseases, it is amazing the impact that the thyroid has on so many body systems. IBS, food intolerance, breast disease, fibromyalgia are some of the headline acts of the thyroid autoimmune circus. Your body is a series of interconnected systems and imbalance in some areas will most likely affect your total health.

Midlife is a time of extreme change for women. Because our reproductive system is shutting down, hormones are no longer being produced with the same regularity or volume and frankly, we are embarking on a new journey of health maintenance at minimum. It is up to each woman to be determine how she will walk out her journey of midlife aging, and how she will focus on both prevention and breast cancer detection.

Lovely midlife ladies~Make a personal commitment to be educated about your breast health diagnostic preferences. Schedule appropriate appointments and then whip the girls out for their yearly pictures!

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