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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Discovering Better Breast Health

Karla Watkins, founder of Insight Thermal Imaging in Spokane, finds it hard to believe how much thermography has changed her life and that of so many other women taking charge of their own breast health. “Thermal imaging technology is so simple, completely safe, and pain-free. It is a powerful tool in the risk assessment of breast disease,” says this passionate practitioner, who has a 35-year history in Spokane as a radiologic technologist certified in both radiology and computed tomography (CT). She is also certified as a thermography technician and a certified MammaCare clinical breast examiner.

Watkins’ first thermogram around 13 years ago offered her remarkable insight into her own breast tissue concerns. “Thermography reveals the earliest stages of inflammation in the body. Having spent my entire career in the medical imaging industry, it became clear to me that this is a tool that women need. From that first day until now, I’ve worked to provide the most advanced medical infrared imaging available,” she explains, adding that women deserve to have all of the best FDA-approved tools available when it comes to taking charge of their own health.

To illustrate this efficacy of thermography, Watkins shares the story of a 35-year-old client named Cindy (not her real name) who heard about this technology from a friend. “Cindy discovered the many benefits of an ‘early warning system’ for cancer and was intrigued as her family had a history of breast cancer. She knew the sooner something was found, the better, so she scheduled a thermography appointment.”

When Watkins scanned Cindy’s breast tissue, it became clear there was a concern. “You can see in the image an increased level of heat in the left breast. That heat is often indicative of a disease process underway. The doctor, a specialized thermologist who reviewed the image gave it a risk assessment of TH5—the highest risk level of breast cancer risk. After performing a MammaCare Certified Clinical Breast exam, a very small nodule (.03 centimeters) was discovered.”

It was clear to Watkins and the doctor that Cindy needed advanced care. Soon afterward, an ultrasound and biopsy revealed that the tumor was cancerous. “But there is good news here,” affirms Watkins. “By detecting the disease in its earliest stages, Cindy was able to fight back.”

According to Watkins, Cindy firmly believes that the technology saved her life as she wouldn’t have started screening until she was in her forties. “Her story is all too common. Most breast disease screening doesn’t begin until women are at least 40 years old. Cindy also had dense breast tissue—the same as nearly half of all women—which can often hide problems from other imaging technologies.”

Watkins feels grateful to have the opportunity to provide this lifesaving technology to women. “I go to work every day knowing that I can help women see problems early. Often, these problems call for us to make changes in our lifestyles to help reverse the disease process. Other times, it triggers advanced warnings of more serious threats,” she explains. “Early Risk Assessment Thermal Imaging empowers women to be proactive with their breast health.” 

Karla Watkins, RT (R)(CT), CTT, CMT, is the founder of Insight Thermal Imaging located at 1801 W. Broadway Ave., Spokane. For more information or to make an appointment, call 509-315-4154 or visit
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