RISK FACTORS - What age do I have my first thermography?
Here are some of the factors to consider when deciding at what age to begin having breast screening with thermography.
Considering all the various risk factors at any age it is best to have your first thermogram
beginning in your mid 20’s to early 30’s. It is safe, painless and has no radiation side effects.
You deserve a no pain, no radiation approach as part of your complete healthy breast program!
Many women are unaware there are different forms of breast cancer. Age (pre- or post-menopause), weight and many other factors can influence these different forms. It is always best to consult with your physician at what age to begin your breast screening. The following are general categories that may be considered when deciding to begin way prior to age 40 which is what is generally recommended for mammograms. Of course, earlier ages are not considered for mammograms for various reason. In our opinion most notably due to the accumulation of x-ray radiation throughout your life (a cause of cancer).
Breast cancer can be found at any age though most are found in women who are in their 50’s and older. This does not infer to wait until then. Some alternative sources suggest cancers can develop over 10-20 years before being discovered. The earlier we discover there are breast tissue changes the earlier these can be addressed with: lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, supplementation, etc.
GENETICS & PERSONAL HISTORY
What are called mutations (changes) in genes are responsible for upwards of 10% of diagnosed breast cancers. While there are many forms of genetic mutations what is consistent is there is a higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. Even men have a higher risk (breast or prostate predominantly). When do we recommend having earlier in life breast screenings? Among other factors best to be discussed with your physicians, are:
There is family history of breast or ovarian cancer
There is a family history of other forms of cancer
You are Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish people (BRCA positive genes)
Ethnicity: African-American’s under age 45
Surprisingly, if you are tall
You have dense breasts (which also can dramatically decrease effectiveness of mammograms)
You started menstruating before age 12
You begin menopause after age 55, or gain 30+ pounds post-menopausal
You have undergone radiation therapy to the chest or the amount of radiation due to x-rays (mammograms)
Amount of previous breast procedures (cancerous as well as nn- cancerous such as aspirations, biopsies)
Taking hormonal contraceptions or Hormone Replacement Therapy (including IUD containing estrogen)
Pregnancy: Age of first pregnancy as well as breast feeding history
Reconstructive surgery/breast augmentation
Diet, Exercise, Supplements & Hormone
Studies are inconclusive for poor diet being a causative factor for breast cancer because diet and nutritional supplements are not widely tested independent of other studies and/or manufacturers’ bias. It is further complicated by levels of exercise and genetic factors as well as even geographical location and environmental toxins. Alcohol and/or cigarettes have been shown to definitely increase risk of breast cancer. In addition, coffee and tea are controversial, with some studies suggesting coffee, black tea or green tea all can decrease slightly cancer risk. Another factor currently under study are those with imbalances in hormonal factors, such as abnormal sleep patterns and melatonin levels (night shift workers also fall in this category). Regarding hormone replacement therapy and according to mainstream medical standards even bioidentical hormone therapy increases risk, particularly after four years of use. (Note: this is complicated depending on whether a woman has had her ovaries removed, on estrogen replacement only, or on combined hormone therapy, etc.).
However, research has concluded there is a causative factor between diet and other forms of cancer.
There is a correlation between diet in many woman with DENSE BREASTS, especially overweight women on a Western-style diet (41% higher than a Mediterranean-type diet in one study). Dense breasts (vs. fatty breasts) has a higher risk factor, and most notably effects the ability to read a mammogram. Thermography is definitely suggested for this category of women and when combined with overweight or obesity breast screening should begin earlier in life.
In our opinion it is always prudent to have your first breast thermogram prior to age 40 when any of the above dietary, genetic or environmental factors place you in a higher risk category.
Combined with other risk factor heavy smoking is linked to higher risks of developing breast cancer and certainly other forms of cancer as well. Secondhand smoke according to the U.S. Surgeon General has also a “suggestive” link to breast cancer.
Many alternative physicians and health care professionals also consider underwire BRAS can obstruct lymph flow. It is controversial whether this is a direct cause of cancer. It is possible that it is analogous to the difference between someone developing a cold with a healthy immune system vs. someone developing a cold with a suppressed immune system. The outcomes can be different. This may or may not be a factor in determining at what age to begin thermography of the breasts however in our opinion should be considered cumulative with other risks factors that are present.
ANTIPERSPIRANTS vs. DEODORANTS
Antiperspirants are also controversial as to whether there is a direct causation leading to breast cancer due to toxins, particularly heavy metal. This may or may not be a factor in determining at what age to begin breast screening with thermography of the breasts however in our opinion should be considered cumulative with other risks factors that are present.