Cancer for a Fortnight
Here’s what happened:
Three weeks ago, I had a thermoscan done. The appointment was a gift. All I knew about thermography was that it checks for inflammation throughout the body and can detect future disease sites by reading higher temperatures in body parts that are at risk.
A week later, I received my results. The computerized analysis noted that “a localized elevated reaction has been detected in right breast. This measurement indicates a high risk of a possible breast cancer development in the right breast…The high chaos index in the chest area identifies an area of concern, as this is an indicator of possible disease development. This could be related to a disease process in the breast, lungs, or heart.”
I knew it was not a diagnosis. I also knew it was highly unlikely that I was actually sick, right then, that day. But that was how it felt.
Was it possible? I listed risk factors.
Sure, I eat paleo now. I buy grassfed and organic now. I supplement with Viamin D now. I choose natural bodycare products and household cleaners now. I avoid grains, sugars, and dairy now.
But what about the vegan years, when I believed I was doing everything right? When I trusted whole grains, legumes, soy, “low hormone” birth control pills, backyard pesticides — indeed, conventional wisdom itself — with my life?
Yes. It was possible that I’d come too late to the truth.
I was afraid…and I was furious. This situation was exactly the one I lambasted in my Crap for the Cure post in October. What the hell are we doing pouring billions of dollars into a “Cure” machine when we could be educating women about the myriad simple, relatively inexpensive steps they could take to minimize their risk of getting cancer in the first place?
I wished someone had told me sooner. Because it looked like I might have learned too late.
Not that the possibility of “too late” was going to stop me. I dove headlong into 100% application of the paleo lifestyle. No more was it a casual bid for long-term health. Now, I was betting my life on it.
In the meantime, I did more homework. On breast health. On cancer. On cancer prevention and reversal. And, of course, on thermography.
It turns out that thermography, or medical infrared imaging, has been around since the 1960s or so. It is much more common in other countries, thanks mostly to a bungled research study that discredited the idea shortly after its arrival in the U.S. It has since been proven both safe and extremely accurate.
For me, this was not good news. I had wanted to discover evidence that thermography, and therefore my frightening results, was bunk.
Instead, I learned how thermography identifies inflammation in the body by measuring temperatures to detect areas harboring unnatural heat. Inflammation, of course, is the first sign of disease — including cancer.
Breast thermography, in particular, offers a highly accurate means of detecting developing breast cancers by offering graphical evidence of angiogenesis (increased blood vessel growth that occurs to feed a tumor). Thermography can identify pre-cancerous changes 5-10 years before a mammogram detects a lump.
Despite this discouraging news, I had reason to doubt the reliability of the naturopath who had performed my scan. I wanted a second opinion.
And so, just this week, I drove 8 hours into my neighboring state to get it. I visited a practitioner with extensive experience (unlike the naturopath), top-notch equipment (unlike the naturopath), and a glowing professional reputation (unlike the naturopath).
And I learned that the naturopath was wrong.
The broad, silver lining is that I learned a lot of other things, too — particularly about breast health and cancer prevention. There’s too much to share in one post, but stay tuned, ladies, because what I have to say should change your life.
[More posts in this cancer prevention series: Before Early Detection, In the Beginning: The Cancer-Inflammation Connection, Only YOU Can Prevent Inflammation, Supply Lines: The Importance of Angiogenesis, and Short-Circuit: Inhibiting Angiogenesis Naturally. See also Crap for the Cure.]