This past week I received the results from my first thermography exam and it was very eye opening. For women who haven’t had the benefit of thermography to assess their breast health, I highly recommend it. It can find things years before mammograms do, and are especially recommended for women under 50 in safely detecting changes in denser breast tissue, typical for younger women. In addition, unlike mammography, it is non-invasive and doesn’t fill your body with radiation to assess where changes are occurring in your body (they can assess you head to toe, both men and women). Even though I had the thermographs taken by a wonderful ND, the results are actually analyzed and reported out by an MD, and then sent to the office that did it, myself, and my fantastic naturopath.
Being that this year I turned 40, I am really conscious about the changes in my body as it starts to occasionally look, act, and feel a bit different. I got my first gray hairs last year – just a few but enough to pull out the tweezers initially in a slight panic. Not any kind of disgust, just a shock to the system that I could possibly be old enough. (Then of course I was quickly chided by my girlfriends who got their grays at a much younger age!). I noticed when I do cat/cow in yoga that I need to put the blanket under my knees. I stare at the skin on the top of my hands that is starting to move around more when I touch it, and it reminds me of how much time they’ve put in helping me live my life. I’ve fallen in love with the wisdom of Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdomand it’s inspired me to get even more holistic with how I look after myself.
My thermography results look somewhat similar to the top image in the above sample, with the red as areas to keep an eye on (potential fibrocystic changes, although I don’t have any symptoms). There is also indication of hormonal (estrogen/progesterone) imbalances which may or may not be attributed to recently getting off birth control after many years. Fortunately, since this is my first thermo, the initial exam is to create a baseline, and I’ll be getting another one this summer for them to compare against before any in-depth recommendations are made. Simply knowing there are things going on in my breasts, however, has made me particularly thoughtful, being that both sides of my family have a history of breast cancer and I had gotten mammograms almost yearly since I was 28 until two years ago. I feel much more connected with my own body than I ever did with a nameless radiologist and an ob/gyn who spent maybe 15 minutes with me once a year. I *love* this piece, by the way…
So, for anyone and everyone, below is a beautiful video my fiance shared with me that is part of Australia’s Cancer Council paying tribute to Chrissy Amphlett of The Divinyls who passed away from breast cancer last year and encouraging women to do breast self-exams. Check out the article on it for more details and to get connected with the project.