Northern Arizona Thermal Imaging

A Little about Carol...

Carol Conti 400

Born and raised in deserts of Southern California, Carol found her way into Radiography after being denied entry into Veterinary school.  It was the technical equipment that first drew her interest in Radiography, decades before the equipment became computerized.

Challenged by the complexity of the profession, Carol succeeded in passing the national boards for Radiologic Technology in 1973, then entered the profession.  Her first experience was being one of only two women in a Radiology Department where Carol performed almost all of the breast imaging, (which in those days, was done using regular X-ray equipment and industrial film).  At that time, mammograms were only performed on women with known breast problems, and the film quality was poor.  Radical mastectomy was used routinely on these women as a general standard, sometimes without cancer ever being found!

The first dedicated mammography machine was built in 1976, and by the mid 1980's, mammography was becoming better known for breast cancer detection.  Women without breast problems became interested in mammography in an attempt to detect a cancer too small to feel.

It was at that time, that Carol and a fellow colleague/tech, decided to start a portable mammography business to bring this fledgling technology to women all over Southern California.

Growing with the profession, Carol enjoyed learning new technology as it developed.  Being especially interested in new challenges, she set out to improve the value of portable X-Ray by being the first to achieve on-site X-Ray film development; thus improving service, and saving valuable time. Development of this process was quite complex.

So it was that Carol started her own portable X-ray business in Palm Springs California in 1980, while she continued to work the night shifts at Palm Springs Desert Hospital, as well serving as Mammographer and Thermographer at a private clinic.

  

Desert Portable X-RayCarol continued to operate 'Desert Portable X-Ray' from 1980 to 1986. Then as fate would have it, due to an injury, Carol was forced to sell her portable X-ray business in 1986.  She then moved to Northern California to recuperate, where a lifelong hobby of rescuing wildlife turned into an avocation when she became certified in wildlife rehabilitation at the University of California at Davis.  As a founding volunteer of the Santa Rosa Bird Rescue Center, Carol and Frank worked with raptors and coastal water birds.  It was here that she met her husband of 20 years.

Because she remained a licensed Radiologic Technologist, Carol worked with Veterinarians at the bird center who asked her to troubleshoot their equipment.  Of course as things go, one thing led to another, and before long Carol found herself in the Redwood Empire doing consulting for Veterinarians, Chiropractors, and others who owned x-ray equipment but had no technical support.

In 1987, the American College of Radiology started granting accreditation to mammography facilities that could provide quality mammography on a screening basis.  The portable mammography business Carol co-owned in Palm Springs was one of the first mammography providers to pass ACR accreditation.  By this time, mammography was becoming an advanced specialty in Radiology, and Carol renewed her interest in the profession.

The year 1991 saw the first advanced level board exam in mammography and Carol decided to take it "just to see what was on the test".  Carol scored high, and became one of the first registered Mammographers in the nation.  This led to a career opportunity in Oregon, setting up a screening mammography program for a large private hospital.

Before moving to Oregon in 1992, Carol's last consulting/project in Northern California involved setting up a complete Radiology office that took up the entire second floor of a newly renovated Victorian Boarding House; which of course, included a new state-of-the-art mammography machine.

- In 1992, the Federal Government started regulating mammography with the advent of the Mammography Quality Standards Act. Carol Conti was ready and ahead of the curve, having already gone through the ACR accreditation process with three separate facilities.

 

Carol _ Hawk3

At the beginning of 1995, tired of growing web feet in Oregon and missing the desert environment, Carol and Frank re-located to Yuma Arizona, where she became Clinical Resource Coordinator of Women's Imaging for Yuma Regional Medical Center.  Carol was also a founding member of the Yuma County Breast and Cervical Cancer Coalition and facilitated a breast cancer support group.

In 1999, Carol was appointed to the Arizona Medical Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners by then governor Jane Hull, to oversee the licensing of all Radiologic Technologists; especially Mammographers, and Bone Densitometrists.  Re-appointed by Governor Jane Napolitano in 2005, and again in January 2008, Carol is presently the longest serving Board member and Vice-Chair.

In 2002, Carol, her husband, and their two dogs arrived in the Verde-Valley to take on a new challenge, that of a fledgling mammography program for 'Advanced Imaging Diagnostics' in Cottonwood, Arizona. They eventually fell in love with the Verde Valley and decided to make it home. . .

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      For as long as she can remember, women have been asking Carol if there was a better way to screen the breast for cancer without radiation and squeezing the breast... she always had to say no.  Now she is happy to answer YES!  There is now a way to screen for breast cancer without the squeezing, and more importantly, without radiating the breast tissueHigh Definition, Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging, can actually image changes in the breast tissue before it turns into breast cancer.

After years of argument with her friend Dr Shaida Sina of 'Breakthrough Medicine' about the benefits of mammography over thermography, Dr. Sina finally convinced Carol to do further research on Thermal Imaging.  Carol was astounded at what she uncovered.  Unlike the infra-red thermal imaging she came to understand and use back in the 1980's, she found that the technology of Medical Thermal Imaging has advanced tremendously in just the past five years; to the point that it can actually see the formation of breast cancer up to ten years before it can be seen on a mammogram!

Dr. Sina won the argument, and Carol founded Northern Arizona Thermal Imaging, bringing this exciting and innovative breast and health screening tool to the Verde, Yavapi, and surrounding communities.

Most of Carol's former mammography patients know about her dedication to early detection of breast cancer.  Some have even heard her speak of finding the cause as opposed to finding the cure.  With Digital Medical Thermal Imaging she is one step closer to preventing breast cancer for our daughters and granddaughters.  Thermal Imaging can also be used by women considered too young for traditional mammography, as well as by all concerned about the harmful effects of radiation.

Ask why she enjoys doing what she does, Carol will tell you simply that she loves saving lives.

With her experience during the evolution of mammography to the accepted gold standard of early detection that it has become today, Carol is a well respected Mammographer nationally as well as here in Arizona.  Now as a Thermographer, she hopes to elevate Digital Medical Thermal Imaging to be the new gold standard for early detection.

 

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