by Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | November 08, 2013
Today, Nov. 8, marks the second annual International Radiology Day dedicated to the strides radiology has made for modern medicine.
Sponsors of the event — the American College of Radiology, the RSNA, and the European Society of Radiology — decided to pay a special tribute this year to lung imaging.
"Deaths from cancer and other serious illnesses and injuries have plummeted in recent years largely due to early diagnosis made possible by imaging exams, such as lung CT scans. Expanded use of CT lung cancer screening in high-risk patients is a landmark step in the battle to defeat this terrible disease, said Dr. Paul H. Ellenbogen, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, in a statement.
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Lung CT received a big boost this summer
when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended annual CT screening for high-risk lung cancer patients to detect early stages of the disease. The recommendation was based on a study that showed a 20 percent reduction in mortality for patients screened with CT versus X-ray.
The recommendation means CT screenings for lung cancer patients are one step closer to being covered by Medicare, which normally paves the way for private insurance to cover it too.
Besides lung CT, International Day of Radiology also recognizes many other innovations in medical imaging that have produced better patient outcomes.
The day also marks the 118th anniversary of the discovery of the X-ray.