“Thinking Outside the Pink Box”

A Guest Column by Melissa Huguet

In just a short time, October will be upon us and the National Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness box will again be opened, unpacked and put on display in every store, on hundreds of products and in many athletic events.

Most women are definitely “aware” of breast cancer.  In fact, a recent Gallup poll revealed that breast cancer was among the top four fears of women, and that 40% of women believe they will eventually die from breast cancer. We must be very careful that all the “awareness” doesn’t tip the scales toward fear.

When we start thinking outside the “pink” box, that doesn’t necessarily mean we toss out everything we’ve learned about breast cancer; it simply means taking a look and seeing what else is available.

For example, is there anything proactive outside the box that we can do to lower our risk for breast cancer so we don’t live in fear? Are there additional scans we can use that safely and effectively screen the health of our breasts? Does our nutrition, lifestyle, hormone balance and stress make a difference in our overall risk factor for breast cancer?

Yes, yes and yes! Let’s take a peak outside the box.

When we first start glancing outside our pink box, we will notice that there are many other women who are looking outside also. Women want to be educated about their breast health choices. For most women, their breast health consists only of a yearly mammogram and then worrying and wondering if everything will be OK at the next yearly check up.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of worrying and wondering, if we could take control and actually scan the health of our breasts to see if they are improving or worsening. And then take that information to make positive and visible changes?

It is possible through thermography, also known as digital infrared thermographic imaging (DITI).

Thermography has been FDA cleared since 1984 and constantly improving with time and technology. It offers the opportunity to detect subtle heat and inflammatory changes, and early emerging blood vessels that may be feeding a tumor.

According to Dr William Hobbins, MD, a Board Certified Thermoogist and Fellow of the American Board of Surgeons, these abnormal heat patterns are among the earliest signs of a developing cancer.

We do not go to bed with healthy breasts and wake up with breast cancer. Continual and increasing blood vessel formation in one breast can indicate pathology or other breast conditions. Increase of blood vessel formation in both breasts can indicate hormone imbalance such as estrogen dominance which can be a direct result of stress, nutritional status or outside estrogen replacement.

As seen on these two actual thermograms, this was a patient under extreme stress causing a cascade of hormonal changes throughout her entire body.

You can see clearly on the first image the increase of blood vessel formation which creates heat, inflammation and increased risk.

You can also clearly see on the second image, taken a year later, the improvement or clearing of blood vessels and heat decreasing risk just by stress reduction, nutritional strategies, and supplementation.

By incorporating healthy practices, women can decrease their risk, and track their progress with thermography.

Fully certified thermography is available in both Appleton and Green Bay at Keep Cool Thermography. Keep Cool is actually an acronym for keep cancer out of lives.

Having a thermography scan is a very simple, safe and affordable procedure and will consist of two appointments. The first appointment involves taking approximately 7-9 images of the breast. Those images are uploaded to our board certified doctors who read them and send a report back in 5-7 business days. Another appointment is then scheduled to review the report together and to review important nutritional and lifestyle strategies based on the results of your own personal report to help reduce your risk for breast cancer.

Whenever you see a pink ribbon, don’t just be “aware” of breast cancer.  Let it inspire you to take preventive steps and to think outside the pink box.

Melissa Huguet is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Thermography Technician