Thermograms More User-Friendly than Mammograms

Detect Tumors Before They Even Develop

The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) statistics on breast cancer are shocking. Every three minutes in the United States alone, another woman is diagnosed with this dreaded disease, which annually claims the lives of more than 40,000 women.

With its incidence on the rise and prevention now considered more valuable than cure, women are beginning to educate themselves on the option of including a thermogram in their annual check-up. This little-known tool for risk assessment measures thermal emissions emanating from the body, a key indicator of health. Available here since the 1960s, it was approved in 1982 as an adjunct to mammography.

Also referred to as digital infrared thermal imaging, thermography has long been used for surveillance and night vision by the military. Since its early clinical use in the field of medicine, dramatic technological advances have occurred in the underlying science, which now employs highly sensitive, state-of-the-art infrared cameras and sophisticated computers. The American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT) is now responsible for training technicians and physicians, providing accreditation for practitioners, and promoting scientific research. Peter Leando, Ph.D., an ACCT training officer, conducts ongoing sessions at Duke University.

“Thermography,” explains Leando, “offers an indication of inflammation, vascular change, lymph activity and abnormal physiology changes.” Cancer stimulates the production of new blood vessels that don’t have the ability to contract, and brings about the production of nitric oxide, which causes vascular dilation, increased blood supply and heat. The infrared camera images this abnormal blood supply, which forms to feed cancerous tumors. To those skilled in interpreting such images, these vessels look different and indicate abnormal development.

Rita Rimmer, owner of Health Imaging, can’t imagine why traditional medicine doesn’t embrace thermography for early risk assessment. “Mammography finds the cancer only when it’s large enough to be a tumor,” says Rimmer. “Thermography has been known to detect breast cancer as much as 10 years before a tumor develops.”

She points out that it has also been debated whether mammograms can cause some breast cancers. Referencing a book that she refers to her clients, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Breast Cancer by Dr. John Lee, she quotes, “The [mammogram] procedure is unpleasant and radiation is potentially harmful. Both tissue damage and radiation are known risk factors for breast cancer, so it may even be logical to assume that mammography can contribute to breast cancer.”

Rimmer focuses much of her time on educating women about prevention. She devotes 45 minutes of the first hour-long session to sharing pertinent information and answering questions. The imaging process takes only 15 minutes. Her recommended reading list, gathered over her past six years of practice, also includes Dressed to Kill, by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer.

The book, advises Rimmer, points to a link between cancer and bras. “This is obviously information that women need to make informed choices.”

Two consultations are required for assessment, the first for imaging and the second, three months later, for a follow-up. In the meantime, Rimmer mails her clients a written interpretation of the initial imaging session.

Dr. Moshe Dekel has been performing thermography imaging and interpretation for his patients for five years. He notes that the majority of his clients choose the technique because they don’t want to undergo the compression and radiation of mammography.

Dekel explains, “Breast cancer is a systemic cancer that happens in the breast because the immune system is overwhelmed. Since a thermogram is basically a physiology study, I include preventative protocols for breast cancer during the interpretive process. Then I show them what these practices can do for their health in general.”

He shares his enlightened philosophy on health with every patient. “You are in charge of your health and your family’s health,” he affirms. “This means that you must educate yourself on the various modalities that will keep you healthy, so that you can make the best choices based on data, rather than on fear.”

It appears that women who add thermography to their annual self-care checklist will get the gentle ounce of prevention that’s worth far more than a pound of cure.

Contact Dr. Moshe Dekel at 166 Elaine Dr. in Oceanside, New York, or call 516-817-1770. Visit

Contact Rita Rimmer at 941-355-1007. Health Imaging is located at 1920 Northgate Blvd., St A-4 in Estero, Florida. Visit

For more information on thermography, visit the American College of Clinical Thermology at

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