Protocols at The Thermogram Center
Protocols at The Thermogram Center
The Thermogram Center relies on board certified service providers that adhere to standardized guidelines to ensure accuracy, reliability, and repeatability of thermal findings and analyses, and compliance to medical standards and laws.
Strict protocols and instructions regulate:
- The acclimation and imaging room environments
For instance, our imaging room temperatures are maintained between 68° - 70°F during your appointment with zero tolerance for air drafts. The room temperature does not fluctuate by more than 1° during your imaging session. In addition, no lights are in the "on" position above the client during acclimation or imaging. (One housed-40 watt bulb is used to dimly light the entire imaging room.)
- Acceptable thermal imaging system specifications
Not every thermal imaging system is appropriate for human studies. For instance, only 8-12 micron detectors are substantiated in the literature for human studies. The Thermogram Center equipment and software is FDA approved for medical imaging under FDA 21 CFR 884.2980: K033967 and K032471, respectively. Our latest FLIR A615 camera technology and SpectronIR software is some of the latest in the field with high sensitivity/resolution capabilities capturing 307,200 temperature readings to 0.05°C sensitivity and 0.69mrad spatial resolution in a split-second, so you need not be concerned about standing still or body movement. And we provide your images in B&W and in color. (Many images at our website precede January 2013, when we used earlier technology. The latest images are noticeably "smoother" with current technology.)
- Pre-appointment client instructions
For instance, no sunburn to the body areas being imaged is permissible within five days prior to imaging. Also, use of deodorants or under-arm shaving on the day of breast series imaging is not permissible. No exercise or physical therapy is allowed on the day of imaging prior to the appointment. Other instructions apply. (Please see the "Pre-Appointment Instructions" sheet included in the e-mail we send when you schedule your appointment.)
- Imaging appointments
Protocols and instructions regulate client, acclimation, imaging, and documentation handling during all service steps.
The interpretive doctors/Board Certified Clinical Breast Thermologists reading breast thermograms for The Breast Health & Preventive Education Center follow standardized analytical guidelines and a 20-step procedure, assessing temperature readings, heat patterns, vascular formations, vascular dilation and thermobiological risk.
Wherever you go for services, it is in your best interest to expect Thermobiological Risk Ratings and images in color and in black & white - at a minimum. Our interpretive report also includes a Hormonal grade. For more information on this subject, see Understanding Thermobiological Risk and Understanding Estrogen Stimulation and Hormonal Grades.
Regarding estrogen stimulation:
Your interpretive report includes a reversed grayscale image of the vascular dilation in the breasts and a Hormonal Grade, which increases with estrogen stimulation. This may be important because the National Institute of Health reports that breast tissue can hold 10 to 50 times more estrogen than the levels revealed in typical blood tests, and because prolonged exposure to excess estrogen is a significant risk factor for breast cancer development. Hormonal Grades are on a scale of 0-4 and increase with estrogen stimulation.
Regarding thermobiological risk ratings and breast cancer:
Identifying high thermobiological risk clients early provides opportunities for intervention and supports proactive efforts to fight breast cancer development. Thermobiological risk ratings also involve a numbering system that provides objectivity and relativity over time. With a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest thermobiological risk and 5 suggesting highest thermobiological risk for developing cancer, clients and their health providers can make informed decisions regarding further evaluation, and can determine if risk is increasing or decreasing over time so that they can manage risk factors accordingly. (Each breast is assessed a thermobiological risk rating.)