OC Breast Wellness FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

SureTouch

Yes. Breast density is what mammogram measures, but SureTouch measures tissue hardness or elasticity.  They are two different properties.  If a breast lump is detected, SureTouch uses your breast tissue elasticity as a baseline to compare the hardness.

Calcifications in the breast ducts are detected by mammograms. Otherwise known as DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ), there has been criticism about over treating these as cancer since 30% of them do not progress into cancer.

The human body has natural mechanisms to correct mutated cells that can turn into cancer, and cancer cells also need the right environment to grow. Proper diet, low in animal protein (less than 10% of caloric consumption), can keep cancer cells from growing. (TC Campbell and TM Campbell, The China Study.)

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that are sent out into the breast and measure what bounces back. Because it is a narrow beam that provides a crossectional view of the breast, it is difficult to scan the entire breast. Ultrasound is very effective in identifying fluid filled cysts.

A FDA-cleared breakthrough technology, SureTouch is a safe, accurate breast examination that enables all areas of the breast to be examined while offering immediate digitized results for you and your doctor. Originally developed at Harvard, SureTouch measures the increased reactive pressures generated by a questionable breast lesions. The device consists of a hand-held transceiver that is gently moved across the entire breast and underarm area and produces ultra-sensitive, multi-dimensional color images, which are delivered to a screen. With SureTouch, the clinician, patient and doctor can view the size, shape, hardness and location of suspicious masses in real time. Women have the answers they need immediately.

The breast exam that you have is your choice. Your doctor can suggest that you have a mammogram but the decision is yours. We will provide the doctor with all the backup information needed to support SureTouch with your results.

OC Breastwellness can help you submit your claims to your insurance provider.

Breast thermography is a digital infrared picture that reveals the heat and vascular patterns of the breast tissue. These patterns change when a tumor starts to grow. New blood vessels required by the tumor to feed nutrients and oxygen, don’t grow like normal vessels. Their abnormal patters and generated heat is detectable by thermography.

SureTouch is a safe, painless, radiation-free digital breast exam. This breast lesion documentation system utilized tactile sensing technology. The device captures and enhances the sense of touch. Sense of touch accounts for 80% of cancers found today.

A quick free consultation with a member of the staff at OC Breast Wellness is needed to evaluate your unique situation and determine whether one or both of the exams would be appropriate for you.

Just as manual breast exams are not affected by age, SureTouch is effective for younger women as well as older women.

Fibrocystic and glandular tissue can be soft of hard depending on the hormonal cycle. SureTouch determines the hardness of the tissue and compares that with the surrounding tissue. Patients with hard lumpy tissue are asked to come in for a 2nd exam in 2 weeks so that we can isolate lumps due to hormonal changes from a concerning lump. Keep in mind, only 1 out of 12 lumps are cancerous and detecting them early is the key to better outcomes.

While 80 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancers are found by women through their sense of touch during regular self-exams (info), the average size lump found through such self-exam is approximately 2.5cm and the average size lump found by trained medical clinicians using palpation is approximately 1cm. SureTouch is FDA cleared to document palpable lesions and is far more sensitive than human touch and can detect lesions as small as 5mm..

SureTouch displays the breast tissue as it scans over the skin. If a lesion of any size or density is found it is displayed for review. The percentage of palpable lesions undetected would depend on the quality of the nurse performing the exam not on the device itself. If the lesion was under 5mm in size it would not be likely to be detected. Microcalcifications are also not detected by SureTouch.

It is not a diagnostic product. SureTouch is used to visualize the sense of touch, and generate an objective, accurate, and consistent printed report for review by the patient. A second formatted report is for review by the attending medical practitioner, and can be placed in the patient file as needed. A digital report file is also generated and can be appended to the patient’s electronic medical record viewable by mammographers and attending breast surgeons.

SureTouch is not a diagnostic product and therefore is not a competitor. SureTouch enhances clinical breast exams (CBE) by providing a new technology that did not previously exist. Using highly sensitive tactile elasticity imaging, Suretouch electronically documents the CBE in a reproducible format.

The problem with fibrocystic change/mastopathy is that the clinical exam demonstrates a palpable area which is more firm than the surrounding area. Since SureTouch translates the physical exam into a digital image, it will also demonstrate this palpable finding.

In Dr. Kaufman’s paper in AJS, the area of most difficult distinction between cancerous and non-cancerous lesions, was in this group. Again, at this time SureTouch is primarily a documentation device. No SureTouch exam will act as a substitute for a biopsy, as no physical exam (or mammogram/MRI/ultrasound) substitutes for a biopsy.

SureTouch does not identify calcifications, since they are not palpable. All the calcifications associated with cancer are not identified with SureTouch. Occasionally, a fibroadenoma may be calcified, and the fibroadenoma will be identified by SureTouch, simply identifying the palpable lesion, not the fact that it is calcified.

SureTouch translates the physical exam into a digital reproducible record. Those things that identify the physical exam (shape, size, firmness, consistency) are translated onto the screen. Shape and size are clear. Firmness of an area seen on SureTouch is a measure of the relative firmness of the target lesion relative to the surrounding breast tissue. There are no absolute figures that can be used to diagnose a lesion. Some hard lesions are cancers, cysts, and fibroadenomas. There may also be some softer cancers such as mucinous cancers, although these are still harder than surrounding breast tissue, but not as hard as the prior examples. So, in essence, the hardness measure is a guide as to how different the target lesion is, relative to the normal breast tissue that surrounds it.

Thermography

Cancer results from the accumulation of gene mutations. Before I present strategies to reduce your risk you must know how cancer is formed. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine sums it up in one sentence. “Cancer results from the accumulation of mutations in genes that regulate cellular proliferation.” This accumulation of mutations happens over time and this is why, as every year goes by we become more likely to develop cancer. A sound prevention strategy must address gene mutations. Fortunately, there are a number of steps we can take.

Most medical professionals know little of this technology. Scientific knowledge has been doubling every three and half years since 1995 – the first year we learned more than in all previous history. Once out of medical school much of a doctor’s continuing education is sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. It’s likely they haven’t read one of the 800 peer reviewed journal articles on breast thermography. Most of the research has taken place in Canada and France, where this technology is more mainstream. There are now over 300,000 women that have been part of the research on breast thermography. A particularly good article by Len Saputo, MD titled Beyond Mammography was published in 2004 in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. I suggest making a copy for your doctor and educating him or her on the benefits of this life saving technology.

Click Here to view our process. Strict protocols are necessary to obtain the most accurate information possible from these complex images. A number of variables can influence the thermograms. So, we insist that if you are pre-menopausal you must not be menstruating, ovulating, or pregnant. No smoking for at least two hours prior to the test. No caffeine, coffee, tea, energy drinks, or colas for 24 hours prior to the test. No sunburn, no massaging the breasts, and if you’re ill with a fever you’ll need to reschedule.

During the examination the patient disrobes from the waist up, sits in a specially modified chair that elevates the arms away from the body, or stands with her hands behind her neck. She equilibrates to room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees. My specially trained assistant then takes a five view series of images using a sophisticated infrared camera. Then the images are analyzed using a computer based interpretive service, www.breastthermographyevaluation.com that is based on the gold standard of interpretation developed by Michel Gautherie PhD, Head of the Thermobiological Department at the Louis Pasteur University of Medicine, Strasbourg, France.

We want to avoid days 6 through 13 of your monthly cycle.

Understand that these are two very different tests. Thermography is a physiological test and mammography is an anatomical test. For many years mammography has been the state of the art screening test for breast cancer. That said, there is much debate over its usefulness in women under the age of 50. Mammograms require radiating the breast, and cumulative x-rays are an additional breast cancer risk factor due to the genetic damage created by x-rays.

Overall mammography has an accuracy of only 70% to detect cancer. The other side of that coin is the number of false positives, meaning something was found that looked like cancer but on biopsy turned out not to be. Only one in six positives is found to be cancerous, an 89% false positive rate. Plus, most breast cancers are so slow growing they don’t show up in a mammogram for nearly 8 years on average, time enough for the cancer to spread.

Thermography’s track record, on the other hand has an impressive accuracy and sensitivity record in the 90% and above range. Used with mammography a 98% sensitivity in diagnosing breast cancer was achieved. The American Journal of Radiology, 1998 stated that thermography had 99% sensitivity in identifying breast cancer. So a negative Thermogram can give women great confidence they don’t have breast cancer.

Mammography is a three to four billion dollar a year industry. As to the second part of your question, it would require me to speculate and I’d prefer to stick with what I can document in the scientific literature.

  • By age 25 a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 19,608
  • By 30 – 1 in 2,525
  • By 35 – 1 in 622
  • By 40 – 1 in 217
  • By 45 – 1 in 93
  • By 50 – 1 in 50
  • By 60 – 1 in 33
  • By 65 – 1 in 24
  • By 75 – 1 in 11
  • Lifetime – 1 in 8

Great question! As you know I agree with the recommendations they do make but they don’t go far enough. A scientific, peer reviewed, double blind, placebo controlled four year study was published in June 2007 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition unequivocally stated vitamin D with calcium lowered the risk of any cancer by 60%, and other studies have shown the effectiveness to be even higher.

I’ve heard vitamin D can be toxic.

There are both good and bad side effects. Vitamin D is essential for the assimilation of calcium into your bones. You’ve got to have it to prevent osteoporosis. Another positive side effect is its good for the immune system. Vitamin D in very large doses can become toxic. One study I read mentioned 30,000 IU’s daily for months before toxic levels were reached. I recommend supplementing with 5,000 IU’s a day and get your blood levels of vitamin D checked. Ask your doctor for the results. The normal range has recently been changed to 32-100 ng. Not all of us absorb vitamin D efficiently and like me you may need a special form of vitamin D to increase your levels to an optimal range.

This is one of the cheapest of all supplements. You can go to any health food store and buy vitamin D, but I prefer to buy over the Internet. I’m a huge fan of Life Extension Foundation, www.LEF.ORG they sell all sorts of supplements including vitamin D. You can absolutely count on them for a quality product. Life Extension is a non- profit organization that uses the profits to fund anti-aging research. They sell to members a 250 count /1000IU vitamin D for $8.44 (cheaper if you buy four). If you need to save a buck, you can buy a 200 count vitamin D 1000IU per capsule for $5.99 from www.vitacost.com. They claim to have quality products and do in house testing on all their products. I have no reason not to believe them, but I haven’t done any independent testing on either company’s products.

Some people need only a 1000 IU’s of vitamin D to obtain optimal levels – others may need 5,000 and others 10,000. Only a blood test will determine if you are taking the appropriate dose for your body type.

The best test is “25(OH) D”, also called “25-hydroxyvitamin D”. Make sure this test is requested specifically.

EMF’s are electromagnetic fields, sometimes referred to as dirty electricity. They do cause cancer and host of other problems.

Robert O. Becker, MD author of Cross Currents and The Body Electric stated “the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields. I consider that to be far greater on a global scale than global warming”. We are all surrounded by these fields and about half of us have some symptoms and for some it’s cancer. For me it was high blood sugar. By removing these dangerous frequencies with Graham/Stetzer filters my blood sugar levels returned to normal within 3 days. There are excellent websites on the subject. www.Stetzerelectric.com and www.dirtyelectricityusa.com are worth visiting. I highly recommend the book by Donna Fisher called Dirty Electricity and Electromagnetic Radiation.