Breast Thermogram Risk Rating

The Breast Thermogram is a tool that is used to help assess risk for breast cancer.  Unlike screening examinations or diagnostic examination, the findings can suggest risk for currently having breast cancer or for developing it in the future.  This information can be used to help determine when additional testing or intervention designed to lower risk is necessary.  By watching for changes from examination to examination, thermal imaging can also help monitor the effects of interventions to see if they are effective.  This includes things such as modifying one’s diet or lifestyle, and improving nutrition among others.  It does not directly detect or diagnose cancer but can help reach those goals.  Thermal imaging does not replace mammography or any other diagnostic or screening examination.

TH 1: Lowest Risk

Based upon temperature analysis, this rating suggests the lowest risk that breast cancer is currently present or that it may develop in the future.  This rating cannot guarantee that the breasts are cancer free and should not delay any other breast examination recommended by your doctor.  When cancer is present, it tends to be growing less quickly (less active) or has not produced enough inflammation or changes to the blood supply so that it is visible on thermal imaging.

TH 2: Low Risk

This is also a low risk rating.  The increase in risk between TH1 and TH2 is minimal.  This rating is not a guarantee that breasts are cancer free and should not delay any other breast examination recommended by your doctor.  When cancer is present, it tends to be growing less quickly (less active) or has not produced enough inflammation or changes to the blood supply so that it is visible on thermal imaging.

Follow Up Recommendations for TH 1 and TH 2:

Follow-up thermal imaging for women over 30 years of age should be performed annually and, for women 20 to 30 years of age, every 3 years.  Thermal imaging should be performed along with your annual breast examination.

TH 3: Medium Risk

This rating suggests a medium risk that breast cancer is currently present or that it may develop in the future.  Follow-up thermal imaging and other breast examinations can help clarify any significance to this rating.  When cancer is present it may be more active and growing slightly faster than those found in the lower TH risk categories.  This rating can also be caused by conditions such as normal variation in anatomy, some benign tumors, lymphatic activity or congestion and low grade inflammation or infection.  It is important to determine the cause of the thermal findings and not prematurely conclude that cancer is present.

Follow Up Recommendations for TH 3:

Follow-up thermal imaging is recommended every 3-6 months depending on your individual situation.  Additional imaging such as mammography or breast ultrasound should be performed if it has not taken place within the last year.  Your doctor will recommend the best test for you.  If something is being watched on another examination such as a mammogram, you should consult with your doctor to determine if any additional testing is necessary at this time.  Interventions intended to reduce risk should be introduced as a preventative measure.

TH 4: High Risk

This rating suggests a high risk that breast cancer is currently present or that it may develop in the future.  Since this rating can also be caused by inflammation, infection and some fast growing benign tumors, it is important to determine the cause of the thermal findings and not prematurely conclude that cancer is present.  Other factors such as lymphatic congestion and/or hormone imbalance can contribute to these findings and need to be considered when evaluation their significance.  Most women with TH4 ratings do not have cancer at the time of the thermal examination but do indicate high risk for developing cancer in the future.

TH 5: Highest Risk

This is also a high risk rating.  As with TH4, this rating can also be caused by inflammation, infection and some fast growing benign tumors so it is important to determine the cause of the thermal findings and not prematurely conclude that cancer is present.  Other factors such as lymphatic congestion and/or hormone imbalance can contribute to these findings and need to be considered when evaluating their significance.  Most women with TH5 ratings do not have cancer at the time of the thermal imaging examination but do indicate the highest risk for developing cancer in the future.

Follow Up Recommendations for TH 4 and TH 5:

It is strongly recommended that you consult with your doctor and begin additional imaging such as mammography, ultrasound, or any other appropriate test promptly to help clarify the thermal findings.  A biopsy may be recommended if this rating occurs in a breast with a lump or other suspicious finding on another examination.  Interventions intended to reduce risk are strongly recommended as a preventative measure.

Follow-up thermal imaging should be performed at 3-month intervals or at the discretion of the Thermologist based upon the thermal findings and any intervention being performed.

Modifiers:

A plus or minus sign is used to upgrade or downgrade the severity within an particular TH rating.

Breast Thermogram Risk Rating