PACT Standard and Report Writing (click here for a printable version)
We supply you with a complete report of thermographic findings. Some of these are very negligible and are there solely for future reference and monitoring, while others may be of particular interest to your doctor. With the highly sensitive cameras we use, most people have some kind of “finding”. We urge you to not self interpret these and create a panic in your life! The purpose of our diligence is to look to future tests and see if these areas have changed, 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 as thermographic changes. These include mastitis, infection, prior injury, scars, previous biopsies, and more. With future testing we are 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.
Accuracy of Repeat Tests
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 assess.
There will be a follow-up recommendation in your report that you must follow. It is up to you to make certain this is done by one of our qualified labs.
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.
You should forward your results to your primary doctor or OBGYN. 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. Ask your doctor what the harm would be in having more information. 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. Wouldn’t 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.
Some doctors are extremely opposed to this technology. One has to wonder… why? Ask them if they have read the Cornell study? There are 800 other articles published on Breast Thermography…. What studies have they read AGAINST it? There are none.
Keep in mind that the FDA has cleared this technology since 1982. There are over 800 published articles on it, and many other prominent technological 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 him/ her 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 supposedly 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 for selfish gain.
The AMA made a “no position” statement regarding breast thermography back in 1993. They said they would revisit the data on occasion to reform their opinion. We can’t help but raise the question, with all the billions of dollars donated to breast cancer research each year, why have there not been any large studies funded?
Gray scale Findings: The gray scale patterns are used to identify vascular patterns. Our interpretation doctors use this technology in forming impressions. Most people are accustomed to viewing the color scale and are most familiar with that. The gray scale is the most important to the thermographer.
Color Scale: This is used to measure actual temperature difference up to .1C from side to side. In some cases tumors may be 4.0C different from side to side. The actual colors are not important, it is the difference between colors on the scale that is important. In most cases the hottest temperature is shown as red (or white off the scale); while the coldest temperatures are shown in magenta (black off the scale).
A note regarding images in this report: These images represent a portion of the overall analysis performed and are indicative of the major factors seen. They do not represent the full examination and are there to visually aid in following the line of thinking in this evaluation. The delta table shows differences in contralateral readings. The minus sign should be ignored and the absolute value used in the case of negative numbers. A relative difference between readings is what is important. Established delta T’s considered to be significant factors are as follows:
1.0C or higher at the nipple
1.5C or higher periareolar
1.5C or higher globally
1.0C or higher in an area of a clinical finding
2.0C or higher in an isolated area without clinical finding
3.0C or higher in a focal heat region in unilateral breast (Mastectomy)
It is our opinion that any delta T at the nipple above 1.0 or 2.0C elsewhere should be clinically correlated by the referring physician, or patient’s physician, and if negative, monitored thermographically for at least two years. Normal recommended routine testing should still be used concurrently as thermograms do not replace mammograms, ultrasound, palpation, MRI, or other general methods of testing, but should be used in conjunction with them.
Heat signatures can indicate a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: cancer, inflammation, infection, scar, benign lesions, abrasions, muscle strains, biomechanical injuries, and others. Your report is intended for licensed physicians only and not intended for use by patients in self evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment.
Note regarding highly vascular breasts: The sensitivity of thermal imaging today is so great that many breast related blood vessels are visualized and as such, are ratable which may be related to benign, toxicity, or trauma related conditions, and do not necessarily indicate the presence of cancer. This is especially true when the area of a ratable blood vessel is found to be within normal limits from a temperature viewpoint. Breasts with numerous vascular signatures require clinical correlation and monitoring with thermal imaging over time for changes which may lead to a more definitive clinical picture.
Regarding Implants & Large Breast: These can mask heat signatures and prevent thermal readings from indicating underlying pathologies. Theses factors also lower the effectiveness of mammography.
PACT discontinued the use of TH ratings in January 2012. It was found by its investigators to be outdated in need of improvement. The TH rating system was based on older technology that was less accurate. 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.
A program to revise the system is underway but will take many years awaiting clinical trials. In the meantime descriptive writing as in any radiology report is used by our interpreters.
Suspicious area of vascularity- A specific area of vascularity that either needs immediate referral out, or needs to be monitored over time. An unusual pattern of vascularity has been seen and requires monitoring.
Comparison of the quadrants bilaterally reveal a 2.0C delta T or greater- Two like points (right versus left) have a greater temperature difference than the standards allow. This will be monitored over time during your follow up exam we will compare your base exam and determine if this temperature variance is increasing (possible cancer), remaining the same (normal abnormalities) or fluctuating (hormonal fluctuations).
Closed Vascular Pattern- A vascular pattern is arranged in a circular configuration that is not standard in normal anatomy. Time will reveal if this is a normal variant or a pathologic arrangement.
Nipplar heat greater than 1.0C- The delta T of the nipples is more than allowed. This may indicate a deeper pathology that radiates outward.
Estrogen Dominance- This is seen as the “leopard spots” on your breast and/or body. The thermal image is very similar to a hot flash when seen on our imaging devices. This condition is epidemic in the Western world, and especially the USA and Canada. Contributing factors include aging, stress, nutrition, over/under exercising, and more. You may be able to find a doctor through BTI who works naturally with ED.
Cancer, How It Forms, What is it?
Cancer is not an overnight event. It develops over many years. 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. Our ultra sensitive imaging device picks up this temperature difference.
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. There is a new an emerging field in health care today, called the “Anti-Aging Wellness Movement”. You can also obtain this information from qualified practitioners from other fields. A simple Internet search will help.