DIXON – Nearly one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer this year.
That depressing statistic is why chiropractor David Warner acquired new screening technology called thermology, which can detect the possibility of breast cancer in its earliest stages, before lumps are formed.
Those with breasts should take the test – it’s the only one of its kind in the Sauk Valley, Warner said.
Patients are scanned with a video camera-like Spectron IR clinical infrared imaging system, which produces heat images of the body. There is no radiation, touching, or compression; the test is noninvasive, and pain- and risk-free, Warner said.
The test does not identify cancer per se. What it sees are heat patterns that could be caused by the excessive formation of blood vessels and inflammation caused by cancerous tissues, which show up on the infrared image as areas with a higher skin temperature.
Test results are sent to the Pacific Chiropractic and Research Center in Foster City, California, and Dr. William C. Amalu for evaluation. Amalu, a board-certified thermologist, is an authority in biomedical engineering and has written about infrared imaging in great detail. Warner cites his work in pamphlets and paperwork he makes available to his patients.
Warner’s daughter, Rachel, is a certified thermography technician.
“What we’re trying to read whenever we’re taking a thermological scan is what the body looks like at normal, and see any patterns that are present that indicate certain things that could indicate hormone imbalance, or a pattern that’s like that,” she said.
The screens can detect cancers before cells form into dime-sized lumps or greater.
Mammograms scan only for lumped cells, and are not recommended for women younger than 40. Thermography has no age threshold, and early detection is key, Warner said.
“When you can detect things 8-10 years ahead of time, that’s a great thing in monitoring something and actually trying to shut it off before it starts,” by changing routines and diets if need be, Warner said.
“Mammography is great, but it’s a structural test and looks for something that already has been built. If you’re looking for a cancer, I like the idea of a test that can detect it when the blueprint stage is being formed, but when it’s been built.
“That’s the difference. We’re able to detect the changes as the body is geared up to make the cancer, and that’s why it’s effective.”
Still, thermography shouldn’t be regarded as a primary go-to test, Warner said.
“This was never designed to take the place of mammography. It works with it.”