A call to all doctors to consider better technology for breast cancer detection, by Philip P. Hoekstra, III, Ph.D.
The breast cancer awareness programs have succeeded in educating women on the importance of early detection. The imperative is clear: 99% of women survive breast cancer when early detection enables early treatment while only 40% survive without early detection. However, your patients are confused by the reports of the updated clinical guidelines that postpone the initiation of screening mammography and reduce its frequency.
Most women mistakenly equate screening mammography with early detection and the rationale behind the evolution in the clinical guidelines is often misperceived as diminished commitment from managed care. Consider that breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women far younger than the new clinical guidelines initiate screening mammography. While mammography isn’t obsolete, careful reviews of the large-scale screening programs have demonstrated it isn’t sufficient either.
Breast thermology has over sixty years of development from its premature introduction into clinical medicine. Improvements in instrumentation have enabled an objective and quantitative analysis of the image data while basic medical science has validated the integral role of abnormal thermal patterns, levels and behavior to carcinogenesis in the female breast. Clinical studies have equated the strength of the thermology features to the malignancy of breast cancer. Meta-analysis of clinical studies have also demonstrated 97% sensitivity, 85% specificity in detecting breast cancer, even when mammography is compromised for pre-menopausal women, women with dense breasts, implants, lifts or reductions, pregnant or nursing or of unusually large or small breast size.
Breast thermology isn’t singularly sufficient either as it can’t physically locate tumors with enough precision for biopsy and can’t always discriminate breast cancer from other sources of unusual thermal features. However, because it is completely non-invasive and has a very high sensitivity, breast thermology is an ideal screening tool for your all of your female patients in what has become a personalized and multi-modality process of early detection of breast cancer.
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Philip P. Hoekstra, III, PhD., DABT, Laboratory Director