Spokane non-profit hopes to bring awareness to early breast canc - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane non-profit hopes to bring awareness to early breast cancer detection

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

When you think about getting screened for breast cancer, the first procedure that usually comes to mind is a mammogram. But there is another procedure with little awareness that can be even more effective at detecting breast cancer in the very early stages and even prevent it. Beyond Pink is a non-profit organization that has set out to raise awareness about this little known yet life-saving procedure called Thermography. 

Beyond Pink was started by two women in Spokane whose loved ones had been affected by breast cancer. Since the organization was founded, hundreds of women in the Spokane area have been helped in their battle against breast disease. Beyond Pink is not only about educating women about the benefits of getting a thermogram, they also fundraise to provide grants for women, who would not otherwise be able to afford the procedure.

Every year, Beyond Pink holds its biggest fundraiser at the Spokane Convention Center. Local designers design bras that are then auctioned off in a runway show. For more information on the fundraiser, click here: http://www.beyondpink.net/fun-raiser/ (Note: this page has not yet been updated for the 2015 event but you can read about the event from last year). On the page you can apply to model in the event, design a bra for the event or donate cash to the cause.

Thermography is not a replacement procedure for a mammogram. Both should be used as complimentary procedures. Currently there is no single imaging tool that is 100% accurate in the detection of breast cancer but if both procedures are used together, detection rates increase greatly.

According to the Original Internist, the way thermography works is by detecting heat in the breast tissue with infrared cameras. Heat is naturally produced in the breast by normal tissue metabolism. Our bodies naturally release this heat in the form of infrared energy. Cancer also produces heat. Thermography is able to use a special camera with an infrared detector to capture energy in an image of the breast tissue. That image is then analyzed and the temperature of the tissue is then measured to the tenth of a degree.

Using what is known about the temperature and metabolic characteristics of healthy and diseased breast tissue, cancer can be detected at the very early stages in women with this procedure. Thermography can also more easily detect small aggressive tumors that a mammogram would likely miss. This is because thermography doesn't depend on tumor size for detection like a mammogram does. Thermography uses tumor growth rates and metabolic activity for detection so the more aggressive and metabolically active a tumor is, the more likely it will be detected in a thermogram. Even the smallest and most aggressive tumors can be detected with thermography.

Thermography is about moving beyond early detection and potentially stopping breast cancer in its tracks before it happens. Thermography can detect breast tissue that is diseased and would likely become cancer before it is cancer.


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