I’ve talked before about the role of inflammation in disease. We’re finding that it’s at the core of most serious illnesses. But all inflammation isn’t harmful. In fact, some is beneficial. Inflammation can destroy bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It’s when it becomes chronic and lodges in a specific area that it can lead to various diseases. For example, chronic inflammation in your joints can become arthritis.
Now we’re seeing the role that inflammation plays in breast cancer. After 12 years of research, a group of scientists has discovered that chronic inflammation in the breast promotes the growth of stem cells. And in addition to having beneficial effects, some of these are the cells responsible for the development of breast cancer tumors.
These findings discovered for the first time how to block the start and progression of breast cancer. How? They inactivated a specific inflammatory pathway called NFKB.
Selectively blocking this pathway was no simple task. Researchers had to create laboratory animals with inflammatory systems that they could regulate. That’s the only way they could turn off the specific NFKB pathway. It would not have worked to turn off inflammation throughout the body. To do so would have had side effects. Remember that inflammation has its benefits.
It’s time to apply this research to cancer treatments and reduce inflammation in cancer patients’ breast tissues. Will doctors pay attention and target breast inflammation? They can accomplish this through diet, herbs, and anti-inflammatory medications. I’ve covered these subjects before in numerous articles you can read on my website. But oncologists may be reluctant to put this new research to the test. That’s because the best way to identify inflammation in the breast and know whether or not a treatment is working is through thermography. And doctors don’t like thermograms.
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Thermography, or infrared imaging, identifies and measures heat patterns. If you have inflammation in your breasts, mammograms won’t find it. Thermograms will.
To get the best and most accurate information on your breast health, your doctor should use a combination of thermograms and mammograms. But for information on how well an anti-inflammatory therapy works, you can’t beat thermography.
You can get more information on this diagnostic tool on my website. Thermography can give you and your doctor the information you need to detect inflammation and breast cancer. Thermography can save your life without any radiation or mashing of your breasts.
To find a doctor or clinic that uses thermography, visit www.breastthermography.com or www.breastthermography.org.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Cancer Research, December 2010.