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by J.P. Saleeby, MD and Christina Justice
One in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime according to the breastcancer.org web site. Due to these high rates of cancer, the majority of women are recommended to get their first mammogram between the ages of 40 and 50, depending on their risk status. This is the recommendation of conventional western medicine associations and colleges such as the American Cancer Society, the colleges of OB/GYN and Oncology. However, even among these highly regarded societies there is really no consensus on when to start screening and how often. There are also issues with regard to radiation exposure and breast compression (trauma) that can actually increase cancer risk. More on this and alternatives and screening at the bottom of this article. Risk factors for breast cancer include family history, genetics, past screenings, medical history, weight, race, age, smoking and drinking behaviors, and many other variables. Screening for breast cancer has become a normalized part of aging for women to ensure the cancer can be caught early enough for successful treatment. Mammograms have been the main screening tool used to identify masses in breast tissue in conventional medicine and have been considered “standard of care’’, however, thermography has been used over the past 20 years or longer as an adjoining exam to fortify and expand on results.