Alternative to Mammograms Boston MA

Think how many lives it could potentially save by alerting women to cancer early enough to do something about it. And it could go a long way toward reducing the number of needless biopsies performed as well.

Therese M Mulvey, MD
(617) 479-3550
10 Willard St
Quincy, MA
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Commonwealth Physicians Services Inc
Specialties
Oncology

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Joshua H Petit, MD
(617) 726-8650
100 Blossom St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

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Paul John Galardy, MD
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Boston Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02118
Graduation Year: 1997

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John Scott Nystrom, MD
(617) 536-8757
16 Exeter St # 1
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
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Male
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Medical School: Med Coll Of Wi, Milwaukee Wi 53226
Graduation Year: 1970

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Douglas V Faller, MD, PHD
(617) 638-4173
715 Albany St Rm K-701
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
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Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

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Jeffrey A Barnes
(617) 724-4000
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology

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Thomas A Dipetrillo, MD
(617) 956-5625
750 Washington St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Vt Coll Of Med, Burlington Vt 05405
Graduation Year: 1986

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Gail M Wilke, MS
(617) 638-5774
732 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

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Eunice Lee Kwak, MD
100 Blossom St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1996

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Matthew Vanderheiden
(617) 724-2241
55 Fruit St Yaw 7
Boston, MA
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology

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An Alternative to Mammograms

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By Burton Goldberg

In response to the rising rate of breast cancer, women are constantly being reminded how important it is to get regular mammograms. But a mammogram is a screening tool with some real limitations.

It did not offer any advantage to women ages 50 to 59 who were being tested for cancer, according to a Canadian National Breast Screening Study conducted two years ago; the group getting a physical exam plus a mammogram had the same breast cancer death rates as the group getting an exam alone. It also carries a high rate of inaccuracy, both positive and negative. In other words, it sounds the alarm for cancer in up to 10 percent of women who don’t really have it, and doesn’t find it in 10 to 30 percent of women who actually do have it. And since a mammogram is essentially an X-ray of the breast, women are exposed to a small amount of radiation in the process of having one.

Perhaps we could live with these problems if mammography were the only option. But it isn’t. Another promising screening method is breast thermography, which relies on a heat-sensing infrared camera to scan for abnormalities. It’s noninvasive, it’s safe, and it has a high level of accuracy when used as a tool for ruling out cancer.

Here’s how it works: Most objects—including human skin—emit a certain amount of infrared light in proportion to their temperature. Thermography uses this light to map the surface temperature of the breast. That’s important because abnormal tissue growth can raise the temperature of the area of the breast it inhabits, and show up as a hot spot in a thermogram. With the use of thermography we can often detect cancer up to ten years in advance of when it would be picked up in a mammogram or clinical breast exam, according to the International Academy of Clinical Thermology.

And thermography appears to be better than mammography in determining whether a woman is cancer-free. In a four-year clinical trial published last year in the American Journal of Roentgenology, researchers used thermography on 769 patients who had just gotten suspicious mammogram results. Of the women identified by thermography as cancer-free, only 3 percent turned out to have cancer. (Results were confirmed by follow-up biopsies.) This is much better than the 10 to 30 percent rate for mammograms. The researchers concluded that infrared imaging would be a valuable adjunct to mammography in assessing the likelihood of cancer.

Think how many lives it could potentially save by alerting women to cancer early enough to do something about it. And it could go a long way toward reducing the number of needless biopsies performed as well. Each year in the United States more than a million are performed, and approximately 75 to 80 percent prove to be benign. Instead of using a biopsy to rule out some cancers, thermography could be used instead.

Thermography is also much less invasive than mammography because no tissue is exposed to X-rays. Nor does it involve any of ...

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