A new study following 100,000 women for over 20 years indicates that up to 25% of breast cancers diagnosed via mammography were Stage 0 but treated with mastectomies. Since at least 80% of these “pre-cancers” do not lead to active cancers, some doctors are questioning whether Stage 0 diagnoses should continue to be labeled as “pre-cancers” or re-labeled as “risk factors.”
Managing the Message
This simple change in wording could affect tens of thousands of women each year. Take for example your reaction to the words, “you have breast cancer” versus the words “you are at risk.” Many women react to the former with dread and fear, automatically opting for surgery, including lumpectomy, mastectomy, or prophylactic double mastectomy. However, the words, “you are at risk” may simply prompt the question, “what does that mean?” and lead to further assessment.
A Different Approach
The study suggests that individualized risk assessment may be the most appropriate approach for addressing Stage 0 diagnoses like DCIS (Ductile Carcinoma In Situ). While some doctors always recommend surgery, some recommend no treatment. The study suggests that the best recommendation may be to consider Stage 0 diagnoses as a risk factor in the context of all the other risk factors in a woman’s life. If total risk factors are low, proactive risk factor management may be the best approach. If total risk factors are high, treatment may be warranted. (See the JAMA Oncology or NY Times articles reporting on the study.)
Leading the Way
The approach at The Thermogram Center is to provide individualized risk assessment for men and women and offer proactive action steps to address risk factors. While the intent is to empower clients to manage risk and reduce inflammation, the ultimate goal is to support prevention. And not just for cancer, or potential heart attacks that can result from previously unknown tooth socket infections, for example, but for any potential condition that could compromise quality of life. The Thermogram Center inspires each client to strive for improvement, regardless of their level of health. In a world where no one’s health is perfect – we strive to make it better.
To Learn More
For you, your loved ones, or friends you care about: Risk Assessing Thermal Imaging is available here and the book, Better Breast Health – For Life!™, providing assistance in identifying and managing 35 risk factors known to contribute to the development of breast cancer, is available here and at Amazon.com.