“Meet Tracy Craig”…

On August 1, 2007, WMBB, Channel 13 news from Panama City, Florida carried the following story, “Meet Tracy Craig””

Tracy Craig is 41 years old and was diagnosed with DCIS earlier this year. She had no history of breast cancer in her family and did not notice any symptoms. Tracy discovered her DCIS through a routine mammogram. She has undergone 8 weeks of radiation and a lumpectomy. Fortunately, Tracy has recovered and is now a “survivor.” She is advising women to get their mammograms.

COMMENT: Problem is, a normal mammogram is not necessarily a clean bill of health.

A better idea? Get a thermogram. Tracy is typical of many women between 30 and 50 years when mammograms are either not recommended, or give equivocal results due to density.  With a thermogram, Tracy may have identify problems up to 7 years before  her official cancer diagnosis…when she was in ther 30s…giving her time to take proactive steps toward breast health.

Better than becoming a “Survivor,” be a breast cancer avoider! Thermography: Redefining the meaning of “early detection.”

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2 Responses to ““Meet Tracy Craig”…”

  1. tceditor Says:

    As the person actually profiled in the WMBB story, I’d like to respond to the comment that was just posted.

    While a thermogram might also have been a useful diagnostic tool, I would not want women to be discouraged from getting their annual mammograms. It is extremely important that all women over 40 have an annual mammogram. If a woman has a history of breast cancer or other risk factors, she should begin screening even earlier.

    Also, many women may benefit from a breast MRI. Breast MRIs have been shown to be of particular benefit to women with certain types of DCIS and should be encouraged for women in that at risk group.

    The message here is that women need to take advantage of ALL the screening tools available. I would hate to see my personal story used as promotional tool for just one type of screening. That would be completely inappropriate.

    While early detection is key, I would also like to note that (regardless of how much earlier I was diagnosed) there would not have been much more I could have done in terms of taking “proactive steps toward breast health.” I do not have (nor have I had in the past 7 years) any controllable risk factors for breast cancer. Like the majority of women who get breast cancer, I am healthy, have made excellent lifestyle choices, and had no history of the disease.

    Tracy Craig

  2. Sherri Tenpenny, DO Says:

    Thank you for your comments, and you are absolutely correct: All of those tools that you mentioned–mammogram, ultrasounds, MRI, etc–are important to find breast cancer after it has occurred.

    But the paradigm needs changed and taken back one step: We need to use tools that can find problems–particularly in healthy, low-risk, assymptomatic women–before the cancer matures and can be identified by the tools you mention.

    Thermography has been accused of identifying “false positives.” Is it a false positive when an area of heat that *could be* early cancer cells is identified before enough cells are present for mammographic detection? I personally think that using thermography will redefining Early Detection.

    Then what can pro-actively be done? There are many options for that but one that is very important is iodine. Do a search on iodine and breast health. So far, I have pulled more than 400 articles from the medical literature documenting its effectiveness in treating–often reversing–breast disease.

    Other supplements include calcium-d-glucarate, Co enzyme Q10, and large doses of Vitamin D (all confirmed from PubMed.) Those are a few of the pro-active steps I am talking about; I just haven’t had time to write about them yet!

    Thanks for stopping by; I hope you will continue in good health and will check the postings on my blog regularly.

    Dr Sherri

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