Monday, January 18, 2010
Medical Reports: Heat Help
Doctors have a new tool that uses heat to help find breast cancer possibly years before a tumor has formed, best part, nothing ever touches the patient's breast. 7s Diana Diaz shows us this Heat Help.
WSVN -- Like most women, 47-year-old Tanya Tooker dreaded the discomfort of yearly mammograms. Her biggest concern was getting an accurate reading from the test because her breasts are dense.
Tanya Tooker: "The tissue is real dense in some places. When your tissue is compressed, it's difficult to detect if there is anything going aray."
After receiving several false test results, she was looking for a better guarantee to catch cancer early.
Tanya Tooker: "I was looking and searching for another solution."
For Tanya that solution was Breast Thermography, the test uses infra-red cameras and a computer to take pictures of the breast from different angles.
Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt: "Infrared is different from traditional mammography in that we do not use any radiation whatsoever. Nothing ever touches the patient, and we look at what happens with the blood flow in the breast."
Here's how it works: Once a woman has adjusted to room temperature a set of pictures are taken with a special heat-sensing camera.
Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt: "The second step is to have the woman put hers hands in 51 degree water for 60 seconds."
Tanya Tooker: "That was the worst part and if that's the worst part I can deal with it."
The theory the ice water causes vessels to contract while blood vessels feeding abnormal cells like cancer will not contract. A second set of pictures are then taken for comparison so doctors can detect hot spots, which may be a sign of abnormalities in the breast tissue.
Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt: "We're looking at the changes that occur because cancer cells exist even before they become a tumor. We can find things five to eight years earlier than traditional mammography."
Thankfully, the test didn't detect anything for Tanya.
Tanya Tooker: "It's painless, it's easy, and it was short."
And she now feels that she can rest easy with her results.
Tanya Tooker: "Now for the first time I feel a hundred percent accurate and confident that I don't have cancer growing in my body."
Diana Diaz: The American Cancer Society says breast thermography should not be used as a substitute for mammograms, and most doctors would agree thermography should not replace mammography, but should be used as an extra procedure."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Michael Bauerschmidt MD
3079 East Commercial Boulevard, Suite 201
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308