Congratulations! You have made the first step to true preventive health care. Thermography is far more sensitive than nerves and other sensory detection in our bodies, and therefore at first may be difficult to understand. Don't worry we have professionals that can help. In fact, your report has already been reviewed by three separate interpreters, each with a different level of expertise.
We supply you with a complete report of thermographic findings. Some of findings and comments are solely for future reference and monitoring, while others may be of immediate concern. With the highly sensitive cameras we use, most patients have some kind of “finding”. We urge you to not self interpret these and create panic in your life! The purpose of medical thermography is to look to future tests for baseline comparison, the greatest benefit of thermography. In some cases we will simply state, "All impressions are guarded". This means that we can not make an accurate assessment without a future comparative test.
There are some factors that may show up on thermography as hot or cold that are not of immediate alarm. For example, in the breast these include mastitis, infection, prior injury, scars, and previous biopsies. In the body we may see thermography findings with benign conditions such as recent mild trauma, bruises, or old injuries.
Future testing will be able to rule out some of these and create a better impression for you. It is important to think back to any injuries you may have had and let our technicians know at your next exam. A full body analysis is always recommended as some conditions can be seen in multiples areas in the body (ie. gout).
The strength in accuracy of thermographic testing lies in the ability to compare future tests with past ones. Increases in temperature over time create a suspicion of cancer growth that needs to be correlated with other tests. Fluctuations in temperature within a range is indicative of hormonal shifting. We plot these temperatures and create ongoing assessments of your dynamic health.
Breast thermography's greatest benefit is not derived from breast cancer detection, but from monitoring fibrocystic breasts and their response to lifestyle enhancements. Estrogen dominance produces cysts in the breast that become painful, as well as create a whole lot of fear in that these lumps may be breast cancer. While it is true estrogen dominance may lead to breast cancer, there is no immediate action that needs to be taken from a life saving perspective.
All of our reports have a Fibrocystic Rating. This number is a general number to gauge your personal severity with others in our database. You may use this to compare your relative improvement.
Thermography is quite accurate at distinguishing benign breast disease from breast cancer with continued screenings. Our doctors can direct you to find the right doctor for you who can help you in lifestyle changes.
There will be a follow-up thermography recommendation in your report that you must follow. It is up to you to make certain this is done by one of our certified thermography labs. We have had too many patients try to save money and "spread out" their re-tests with poor outcome. Please do not become one of these statistics.
Please keep in mind that while the accuracy of thermographic testing is very good, it is not perfect. No test is. The research done on thermography is excellent and we urge you to read online about it.
Repeat tests become even more accurate. There is the possibility that deeper tumors may be hidden by breast tissue or implants that may insulate the heat radiation to the surface to be read. It may also indicate a tumor with a low metabolic rate.
We have found that low metabolic DCIS does not show up as well as other more life threatening cancers. Watch the video by Dr. Welch regarding the NEJM article on over treatment of breast cancer. In this video he explains that these cancers were unnecessarily treated in over 1.3 Million women (up to 50% of cancer diagnoses), and were not life threatening. He further points out that mammographic screening has done nothing to reduce metastatic breast cancer. It is the more aggressive forms that thermography is best at finding. Typically the more aggressive the tumor, the more heat generated.
All breast thermography research points in the direction that high metabolic cancer types are easily identified on thermography.
You should forward your results to your primary doctor. Because this is an emerging technology, they may or may not be familiar with the test or the results. The mindset of some doctors is set in traditional opinions and they do not accept new information very easily. We are not looking to replace the traditional tests, only add to them. They should be open to having a thermographic map of where to look closer. Radiologists admit that tumors can be missed on mammography 15-20% of the time. Would it be better to have the thermogram in their hand as they read their own test to “zero in” on suspect areas? What about women under 40? Thermography needs to be mandated for them. The State of CT currently has a bill to support this.
Keep in mind that the FDA has cleared this technology since 1982. There are over 800 published articles on it, and other countries use thermography regularly. Over 1500 hospitals use it in Japan for breast and skin cancer detection. Do not let politics get in the way of your health. Educate your doctor. Give them the articles. If your doctor refuses to be open minded about it, then it is time to get a new doctor. Science is the formulation of new theory that challenges old dogma. A doctor is a scientist that looks for new advances in technology. The Standard of Care is a way to keep old ways in use by old idealists that prevent new technology from emerging.
PACT discontinued the use of TH ratings in January 2012. It was found by its investigators to be outdated (c.1979) and in need of improvement. The TH rating system was based on older technology that was less accurate than today's current digital imaging and computer processing.. Many of the factors that were identified with the newer imaging devices were that abnormal anatomy vascularity. This increase in factors raised the rating for the patient to be a TH4 or TH 5 in too many cases. Risk factor assessment has been shown to be highly inaccurate. In fact 10% of TH1 patients went on to develop breast cancer.
Cancer does not develop overnight but takes many years to grow, It does not simply appear one day on a mammogram or MRI out of mysterical origin. Cancer cells mutate in all of us. The immune system eliminates cells as they appear. In rare cases some cells may escape the diligence of our protective system and move on to form an vascular tumor, As a tumor grows, it develops a blood supply, which is called angioneogenesis. As the blood supply gets bigger (as well as the tumor), the heat associated with the increased blood flow increases. Ultra sensitivethermography imaging devices picks up this temperature difference. The internal environment of the body will dictate whether a growing tumor will survive. An toxic micro environment will present the best home for an aspiring tumor. Restriction to the lymphatic (immune) system will create local pools of stagnancy. This includes bras, poor posture, injuries, scar tissue, and sitting. Anything that can slow or stop lymphatic flow may be a culprit. Thermography can identify areas of congested lymphatic function.
Every doctor will agree that the earlier you can detect cancer, the better the chance of survival. Breast Thermography detects cancer before it has even formed a tumor in some cases. It is these cases that are the most frustrating for our patients. The question becomes, “Do I have Cancer?” The answer in a non-traditional way would be yes, or even probably. As we stated earlier, cancer develops over years. Traditional methods would not agree with the “diagnosis” of cancer in this case because a tumor has not been “spotted”. To settle your frustration.... this is good. Good because now is the time to reverse your adverse lifestyle and be diligent about your traditional tests. Make sure you follow all recommendations in your report and by your primary doctor. Also make certain that you follow a healthy lifestyle to minimize your chances of progressing further, and possibly reversing the process. In fact, whether or not there are any positive findings at all, it is important to “stack the deck in your favor” with cancer prevention. You cannot help certain genetic factors (5% of breast cancers), but there is a general healthy lifestyle you CAN follow.
There is never a better time than the present to make lifestyle changes consistent with cancer prevention, even if you are completely healthy! Research is always adding new ways to improve your ability for your body to increase its immunity. It has been our experience that early stage cancers may respond to these changes. We have no documented cases where later stage, or more aggressive forms of cancer responding to tis type of care. If anyone has documented thermal imaging cases showing this please present to us as a case history. We recommend caution in the decision to use lifestyle and alternative care as the sole method for cancer treatment.