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Educate for the Empowerment Series : Have You Ever Been Diagnosed with Breast Cancer?


Question #2

“Have you ever been diagnosed with breast cancer? L R Date __________”


This question on your intake form is critical to your breast screening for a number of reasons and could best be elaborated on as follows:


“Have you been diagnosed?”


The true answer here is “yes” only if you have an actual diagnosis and not a suspected diagnosis. A true diagnosis is a confirmed malignancy from a biopsy. Currently (as of 2023) the only way to know if a cancer exists in the breast is to have a core or needle biopsy confirming malignant cells. The suspicion of breast cancer simply because a lump exists is not a confirmed diagnosis. Without the biopsy confirmation, your answer here is “no”.


“If breast cancer was(is) diagnosed, where was(is) it? L R Date ______”


Since diagnosis takes a biopsy, this question is specifically looking to see where it was confirmed in the breast. L & R mean “left” or “right” breast and the Date specific should be the month and year only of the confirmation. This pertains only to diagnosed breast cancer in either breast.


While it is that your initial answer to this question is important to your screening history, it is more important to your future breast healthcare plan. An affirmative answer to this question will prompt further detailed questions from your technician prior to screening but will also be an important subject to discuss at your comparative screening. The reason is that with a current or past diagnosis of breast cancer, thermography should never be your only preventative screening. Since all current single-mode screenings for breast cancer (thermogram/mammogram/ultrasound/MRI) are only 85-87% effective in their results [1], having had a diagnosis of breast cancer means being more vigilant in your preventative measures to make sure that all bases are covered moving forward. Ideally, in this situation, you would be advised to seek out a structural screening (like mammogram/ultrasound/MRI) in conjunction with your annual thermography screening once a thermography baseline is reached that can be effectively compared year-to-year.


Specifically, an ultrasound conducted by a certified breast sonographer can provide an added level of assurance and peace of mind to you when it comes to preventative screening. Ultrasound offers a non-invasive, pain-free, radiation-free way to monitor any structure remaining in the breast – whether from cysts or surgery scar tissue. Being able to have a look into this “window of your house (body)” provides the very best coverage you can receive based on today’s technology. Determining your frequency for the structural screening in conjunction with your annual thermography can be discussed with your technician at the time of your comparative screening. You are highly encouraged to discuss your individual decision with your healthcare practitioner as well if you are under regular advisement.


Providing you with education for empowerment is the majority purpose of screening with Insight Holistic Imaging. All information provided to you is for your own education, but ultimately you make your own decision based on it. If you have never had a detailed discussion with your technician about combining thermography with ultrasound, please contact Rhonda at any time. A thorough review of your current history intake along with your current thermography screening results will be done in order to provide you with suggestions and guidance to make breast health one less worry and put you on the path to optimal health.


On a final note, if your answer to this question is “yes” and if you have a current breast cancer diagnosis when coming in for your first screening – your results will state “confirmed malignancy”. Thermography is not a diagnostic screening (nor are mammograms/ultrasounds/MRI) it is not to be used as a “second opinion” regardless of “no physiological finding” at the time of screening. A single set of images in thermography is never enough to make a solid finding for any heat pattern variances to indicate breast disease progression/regression. A comparative set of images will always be necessary for a solid finding to establish a baseline in thermography.




Reference

[1] Diakides, N., & Bronzino, J. (2008) Medical Infrared Imaging. Chapter 9.3. Boca Raton, FL. CRC Press.



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