Arguably, where medical issues have an almost exclusively female patient base, research often falls short or discontinues once the first perceived solution has been discovered.
You only need to take a cursory journey into the history of the deeply imperfect contraceptive pill to see that this could be true. While an extremely effective method of contraception, the pill's various side effects, ranging from the mildly unpleasant to cripplingly severe, make it a flawed solution. And yet, in the 50 years since the pill's invention, the attention paid to developing better solutions has been seriously lacking. The implant, the patch, the recommended coil - these all deploy a similar cocktail of hormones to the pill.
You could posit that breast cancer fits into this genre of lack of attention. While brilliant breast cancer awareness charities have championed cures and procedures to treat women who have been diagnosed with the disease, when it comes to detection, we're still relying on an outmoded invention - the mammogram.
With one in eight women in the UK expecting a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, it's clear that we're getting something seriously wrong.
Why are we waiting for breast cancer to rear it's ugly head before taking action, when there might be a way to halt its development at a much earlier stage?
It is exactly this question which Doctor Dr. Nyjon Eccles - a leading integrated medicine physician - has dedicated himself to. And happily, he thinks he has an answer.
Enter the Breast Thermography...
What is breast thermography?
Thermography uses a non-invasive, infrared thermo-imaging camera to take images of breasts. The results are a detailed heat map of the surface of the breast tissue. Variations in the heat map allow a doctor to perceive any abnormalities or changes between screenings.
The procedure involves showing up to a thermo-imaging centre, and standing still or turning different degrees in a circle while a thermo-imaging camera takes pictures of your chest.
It is non-invasive, can be done in around 15 minutes and involves almost no touching or manhandling of your breasts whatsoever.
Why Could It Be Better Than A Mammogram?
While the mammogram is an effective way of detecting breast tumours, it can only do so when the tumours have grown to a size large enough for x-ray detection. Dr Eccles intimates that this may be once the tumour has already grown up to 5-10mm in size, which may be after years of growth.
He suggests that thermo-imaging can detect signs of breast abnormality at a much earlier stage, sometimes between 6-10 years before a tumour is big enough to see on a mammogram.
The most commonly cited grievance with the NHS mammogram screening practise is that it subjects millions of healthy women to radiation exposure. Although during this x-ray process, exposure to radiation is minimised where possible, undue exposure to radiation should always be avoided. Radiation exposure can, itself, lead to cancer after all.
What can you do with the results of a thermography?
According to Dr Eccles, 'Earlier detection in younger women by Thermography gives us an opportunity to stem the tide of increasing breast cancer occurrence.Thermal abnormalities indicative of increased risk can then be reversed by the correct attention to lifestyle and key nutritional supplementation.'
By this, he means that we can detect breast abnormalities before they turn into cancer. And, by tweaking our diet and lifestyle, we have a chance of reversing the abnormalities before they become more dangerous, alleviating the need for surgery, chemotherapy and other more damaging and invasive cancer treatments.
For example, changes in the breasts can occur when your body fails to metabolise oestrogen properly. Too much oestrogen in your breasts can sometimes stimulate cancer cells.
But with early detection and the right vitamin and mineral supplements, you can help your body to metabolise oestrogen at a faster rate, avoiding the stimulation of cancer cells.
Currently in the UK, routine mammogram checks on the NHS are offered to women over the age of 50. Thermography, on the other hand, is recommended for women as young as 20 and they can be carried out much more frequently and harmlessly, without exposing you to radiation.
Thermography Breast Screenings are available at Dr Nyjon Eccles, Natural Doctor Clinic on Harley Street in London from £245. For more information, visit The Natural Doctor online.
There are other clinics in the UK which offer thermography, click here for more details.