By Dr. Sherri Tenpenny


Breast cancer strikes fear in the hearts of all women. Most have known someone who has been treated for breast cancer or worse, has died from the disease. Historically, breast cancer was diagnosed after a woman sought medical attention for soreness or a palpable mass. Annual mammo­gram screenings have become the “gold standard” for breast cancer screening with the goal of finding tumors before they can be felt. However, mammography is a late test. It does not prevent cancer; it detects it. Better than early detection is to not get cancer at all.

 What else can be done?

Thermography, also called digital infrared imaging (digital IR), was FDA approved for breast screening since 1982. It is painless, non-invasive and uses no radiation. The scan de­tects thermal patterns not seen by other tools. Abnormal cells require a steady supply of nutrients for rapid growth. A pro­cess called angiogenesis draws blood vessels in the direction of the atypical cell. More blood flow to the area delivers more heat that can be measured by the scanner.

The skin surface temperature is symmetrical. A variation of more than 0.3° C from side to side can indicate a problem. Temperature variations of more than 1.0U C detected by in­frared scanning suggest the presence of abnormal cells that could be pre-cancerous. Heat changes detected seven to eight years before a mass becomes palpable or can be detected by mammography gives you time to be proactive.

What is a thermogram procedure like?

After disrobing, approximately 15 minutes is needed to equil­ibrate to room temperature. An experienced technician per­forms three scans—front, left and right—with arms extended over the head. Both hands are then placed in cool water for exactly one minute. When the sympathetic nervous system is chilled, normal vessels constrict; abnormal vessels stay the same or dilate. A second set of scans is taken for comparison. Temperatures differences between the first and second scan will be part of the final report. When the scans are completed, the exam is over. If an abnormality is identified, pro-active steps can be taken and progress can be monitored with serial scans. Basic recommendations include start with the following:

Diet: Eliminate caffeine, chocolate, MSG, aspartame, alcohol, herbs that have estrogenic proper­ties and non-fermented soy. Studies found that soy supplements can increase breast cancer risk, especially in post-menopausal women. In addition, eat organically grown foods. Pesticides collect in fatty tissue, and the breast can become a reservoir for estrogenic chemicals.

Exercise: Walking and arm swinging will get the lymphatics moving and lowers excess estrogen levels. Decongesting breast tissue and losing weight reduces risks.

Supplements: Many have an effect on healing the breast tissue. Here are a few: Diindolylmethane (DIM), found in cruciferous vegetables, has anticancer activity and also works to repair damaged DNA.

Tumeric (curcumin) has strong properties against angiogenesis

Green tea has been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.

A normal mammogram may only be a temporary clean bill of health unless proactive steps are taken to ensure wellness. For women under 40, at high risk, have dense breasts or im­plants, a digital scan is the way to go. For women in their 40s and beyond, who want for more information and peace of mind, add a thermogram to your annual screening program. Sanoviv is now offering a breast health wellness program. Call our center for more information. 


i Rahman KW. Gene expression profiling revealed survivin as a target of 3,3’-diindolylmethane-induced cell growth inhibition and apoptosis in breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2006 May 1;66(9):4952-60. PMID: 16651453 ii Mosley CA Highly active anticancer curcumin analogues. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:77-103 PMID: 17569206

iii Zhang M Green tea and the prevention of breast cancer: a case-control study in Southeast China. Carcinogenesis. 2007 May;28(5):1074-8. Epub 2006 Dec 20 PMID: 17183063