Thermography companies and academies want to make a profit; they are telling you exactly what you want to hear: “Help save lives!” What they aren’t telling you is that non-medical personnel cannot practice medicine without a medical license. Think about it. Does an ultrasound or mammography technician own the company and discuss your results? Question. Why are you trusting your breasts and your health to someone without any medical background?
Hey troops! My goal is to educate each of you about breast thermography, but there’s something you absolutely need to know and understand. Breast thermography clinics aren’t regulated, which means anyone can open a clinic – and they are. But non-regulation doesn’t mean they aren’t still susceptible to lawsuits.
Save your breasts
Fact: Currently, all lawsuits involving breast thermography are against chiropractors and non-medical personnel. I want you to avoid lawsuits and the thermography clinics, companies and academies that cause them. Know who you’re seeing when you go to a thermography clinic; learn how to save your breasts.
And I won’t forget about the thermography clinics – learn to save yourselves from unnecessary lawsuits.
I get several calls a week from women wanting to open a breast thermography clinic. I love the enthusiasm, however my first question is, “Are you a primary care physician, nutritionist or nurse?” When they say no I explain that even though thermography is not regulated, they still can be held liable or sued. In the U.S. you must have a medical license to practice medicine. As soon as they hear that they are grateful because they have been shopping around and no one bothered to tell them this important detail.
It is deplorable that thermography academies and companies are selling thermography like spa packages and withholding this vital information from you! These companies take advantage of your emotions, they pull you in with the desire to help women, to screen for breast cancer. But think about it, do you take medical advice for your diabetes from your hairdresser, do you take medical advice about your high cholesterol from you nail tech, do you take medical advice for infertility from your grocer? Then why the hell would you take medical advice from your neighbor or friend who claims to be a thermography technician? Would you want to discuss your risk or the finding of cancer with your friend or your neighbor who took a weekend course? Or would you want to find the most educated physician to perform your breast cancer screening and discuss the findings?
The majority of breast thermography clinics in the U.S. are owned and performed by non-medical women who took a weekend or, if they are lucky, a week course. Does this seem right? It requires two years to become an ultrasound technician, plus an associate’s degree, certification and licensing depending on the state. The ultrasound tech does not discuss the report, like many thermography techs are, the ultrasound is discussed with the primary care physician.
Now for just as many calls from newbies I’m getting calls from many women who already own a thermography business, some for several years, looking to learn more from my classes and certification. When I ask the question, “Are you a primary care physician or relevant licensed medical person?” and they reply that they aren’t, I explain they can’t practice medicine without a medical license. I get every reaction, from disbelief, yelling, crying, cursing at me and yes, even threats. Ladies, this is not a spa treatment; this is BREAST CANCER SCREENING which is medical and you must have a medical license to perform any type of medicine. I don’t make the rules.
If I wanted to make money I’d be selling you the same ol’ BS other thermography clinics and academies are seductively whispering into your ear. Ladies, my heels are high, but my standards are even higher and yours should be, too. These are your breasts; you should be able to hear the brutal truth.
I will not certify a non-medical person who owns a clinic or is a technician (unless the clinic is owned by a primary care physician). Why? Because when they get sued they will turn around and sue me.
How do you expect the medical establishment to accept breast thermography when it is being primarily run by non-medical women who are poorly trained from these companies and academies who are taking advantage of your emotions to make a profit? Though breast thermography is a screening (as opposed to a diagnostic) procedure, this does not negate that medical knowledge is both derived from and utilized for this process and, therefore, the resulting medical determinations from both an ethical and legal standard, should be conducted by a medically trained person or persons. Once thermography is accepted by the medical establishment, and it will be, do you really think it will still be in the hands untrained professionals?
First the Facts:
It varies State to state, but this the usually across the board, research the laws in your state.
Practicing medicine without a medical license:
Owning a medical company, conducting breast exams, being a thermography technician, accepting money, discussing medical reports or treatments or giving any medical advice whatsoever to a patient is considered practicing medicine and cannot be performed without a relevant medical license.
Owning a medical company:
In order to run a medical clinic (even mobile) in the U.S. you must be a primary care physician or relevant medical licensed person. If it is a corporation a relevant medical licensed person must be on the board. Lay people – those without licenses – can’t open medical clinics. The only way to get around this detail is if they partnered up with a primary care physician. For example day spas are operated by non-medical personnel; med spas are run by physicians. See the difference? Now, many of you are probably panicking, thinking, “Oh my gosh, I need to find a physician to work with!” Yes, this would be a great start, however, it is not retroactive –it won’t cover all the women you already imaged. Yup, that is also a tough pill for many non-medical women to swallow.
In order to be an interpreter – someone who reads the thermographs – you must be a primary care physician. You cannot be a nurse, nutritionist or a PhD, which is a doctor in a particular field of study, but not of medicine. There are a few interpreters in the U.S. who have no medical degree and are interpreting breast thermography without a medical license. Just using common sense ladies, why would trust your breast cancer screening from someone with no medical background?
In order to interpret breast thermography you must also have specialized malpractice insurance for breast thermography interpretation. If you are operating a legitimate thermography clinic you may want to ask for a proof of your interpreter’s malpractice insurance.
Medical personnel or medical clinics hosting mobile thermography clinics
Many of the non-medical people assume they are covered under the malpractice insurance of the doctor’s office for whom they are performing breast thermography, but in reality they are not covered, unless they are actually employed by the clinic. The physician who owns the clinic can also be sued for, including but not limited to, not performing breast thermography correctly and room preparation, even though they didn’t perform the imaging. Make sure if you have a mobile unit coming to your clinic that you have your own thermography insurance coverage, it is specialized insurance that is not covered under your usual malpractice insurance. In addition, ask for proof that the mobile unit has thermography insurance, too.
All clinics and interpreters must be performing or interpreting breast thermography correctly, following the minimum standard requirements set forth by thermography studies. Thermography clinics not following requirements set forth by thermographic studies may be at risk for lawsuits.
A few years ago the FDA sent out warning letters to several clinics who were making false claims, one of these was a famous M.D. who said that thermography clinics are being persecuted by the FDA. Honestly, I don’t believe the FDA should be involved, many times they have made wrong decisions in the name of “saving” us and because it was “FDA” approved it has actually resulted in and endangered many Americans. However, that being said, most thermography clinics were making false claims, including the famous M.D. who was not performing thermography correctly. Stop being seduced by the M.D. title; many don’t do their research in order to inform the public correctly.
Currently, most chiropractors cannot get breast thermography insurance. One insurance company is suggesting that the term “breast cancer” be removed from chiropractor’s websites or they won’t insure them. The states are beginning to question whether chiropractors can practice breast thermography as breast health, breast exam, breast cancer and gynecology are not part of their scope of practice. Dr. Hobbins already swooped in and saved the chiropractors once, in the 1980s, against the state of New York. Regulation will be set by each state in the near future.
The majority of thermography clinics are not performing thermography correctly. What’s even more shocking is that the majority of thermography academies are certifying and promoting non-medical people. Women looking for breast thermography clinics trust these academies and they are being deceived.
I review thermography reports from other clinics for women all over the U.S. This report was interpreted by a female M.D., from a clinic owned by a non-medical woman and both are certified by what is considered a respectable thermography academy. This patient was never consulted by a doctor, only the non-medical person who owned the company, thus endangering this patient as her medical history was completely ignored and correlates to a thermographic finding that wasn't reported. I'll ask you again, are you willing to risk your breasts and your health with someone who has no medical background and a thermologist with minimum training?
I’m going to quickly review the minimum standard requirements of breast thermography so that you may find a legitimate clinic performing breast thermography correctly.
Breast Thermography 101
Thermography can only measure the skin temperature, it cannot monitor deep into tissue, muscles, organs or bones. Therefore thermography is only breast cancer screening, not diagnostic, and cannot replace or is not “better” than a mammogram. Clinics monitoring organs, liver, uterus, digestive tract are making false claims.
The majority of thermography interpreters only take a weekend course with 100 follow-up reports and are “approved” by thermography academies. A radiologist spends years studying, why would thermography expect less? At the Women’s Academy of Breast Thermography we require 2 years training and/or completion of 1,000 reports, after all this is breast cancer screening.
For a proper breast thermography screening, the room and patients must be prepared correctly. Learn what to avoid in the blog: “How to find the breast darn thermography clinic in a world of fakes.”
The minimum standard requirements for breast thermography: To view over 1,200 breast thermography studies go to the research page at: http://womensacademyofbreastthermography.com/html/research.html
1. Thermographic score, TH, of each breast and is determined by asymmetries in the breasts from temperature differences (delta T).
TH-1 Non-Vascular - Normal
TH-2 Vascular Uniform (Potential risk for post-menopausal women)
TH-5 Severely Abnormal
Many thermography academies are stating a TH score is not relevant since thermography is not diagnostic. Then why are you getting thermography? How the heck would you assess the breasts? Good or bad? That is unacceptable. You can’t say abnormal or normal because how did you come to these conclusions? What were the factors involved to determine the health of a breast? It would involve assigning a type of score. Medical imaging requires an accepted scoring system to determine health. Mammograms use the accepted BRAID system which is 1-6. A TH score does not make thermography diagnostic, it is the factors that analyze the breast and determine if that breast is abnormal or normal, which would require further study if needed.
2. Interpretation is required in black hot or reverse gray imagines, with color being secondary. Blood vessels are only visible in reverse gray, cancers tend to form certain patterns referred to as Major and Minor signs, therefore requiring it to be mandatory.
3. Report of Major and Minor signs. Asymmetries are also determined by Major and Minor Signs or a hyperthermia; any hyperthermia noted in breast must have accompanying Major or Minor sign if applicable.
4. Delta T measurements must be recorded
1.0º C or higher at nipple
1.0º C or higher with finding
1.5º C or higher at periareolar
1.5º C or higher global heat
2.0º C or higher in isolated area (Major or Minor sign)
2.5º C or higher with finding in unilateral breast – mastectomy
3.0 º C or higher in unilateral breast – mastectomy
Nipplar delta T must be recorded if outside normal limits; 83 percent of all cancers present with a "hot" nipple.
5. Proper room and patient preparation. Room temperature kept at or below 68 -72 degrees. Cold stress challenge, application of ice or ice pack is strongly recommended, applied to forehead or back. However, cold stress challenge is required for a repeat thermographic score of TH-3, TH-4, and TH-5. Patient must be undressed from waist up, no robe and or gown, with hands above head at all times.
Some companies are trying to make a technician obsolete. The technician is trained to ensure that the patient and the room are properly prepared and that the images are captured correctly. For one example many patients touch themselves while being imaged and require a second cold stress challenge. Would you perform your own mammogram or ultrasound? No! Why would amateur thermologist want you to perform your own thermography? You are paying for a professional to assist you.
6. An infrared camera with an optical line resolution of 480 should be the minimum accepted resolution. The higher the optical line resolution the more detailed the breast image and therefore the greater possibility of earlier detection. Many thermography clinics and/or interpreters are missing breast diseases due to poor resolution 240 optical line and below.
All thermography clinics are trained to tell you that their camera is the highest resolution. My partner’s father invented the first digital infrared camera in 1979 and it was the first camera FDA-approved for breast thermography in 1982 (most cameras are FDA-approved for skin temperature variation – big difference). His camera dominated the marketplace for 30 years and most infrared camera companies consult with him as he is THE expert in infrared technology. You would be shocked at actually how cheap these cameras are and may be one reason breast cancer is being overlooked. This will no doubt lead to more lawsuits.
Ladies, make your standards as high as you heels and demand qualified breast thermography from qualified medical personnel.
Find a qualified breast thermography clinic near you: http://womensacademyofbreastthermography.com/html/contact.html
I most warn you there may not be anyone near you so join the revolution to save your breast and save yourself.
Made with heaps of love, insurmountable work, oodles of research, the usual blood, sweat, tears, and of course sacrifice of my social life and a few minor melt downs. #thebreastdoc Wendy Sellens DAOM WABT-BTI ~ THE No BS Breast Thermologist
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