Access to Medical Imaging Coalition Commends the American Cancer Society’s Endorsement of Low-Dose CT for High-Risk Individuals
Washington, D.C. – The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) today commended the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) endorsement of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) to diagnose and treat lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.
“The evidence is clear: access to advanced imaging technologies saves lives,” said Tim Trysla, Executive Director of AMIC. “The ACS endorsement of LDCT for high-risk individuals represents an important step forward in reducing mortality and healthcare costs associated with this devastating disease.”
The endorsement from ACS follows efforts by AMIC partner, the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), to elevate early detection and treatment of lung cancer to the national stage. In February of 2012, LCA announced a National Framework for Lung Cancer Screening Excellence and Continuum of Care to maximize the benefits of these tests and reduce access barriers to medical imaging technologies.
Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs has indicated it will commit to LCA’s Framework and began a phased implementation of LDCT in high-risk veterans last summer. Insurers are also recognizing the value of LDCT, with WellPoint including the scans as a covered benefit beginning late in 2011.
Lung cancer accounts for 160,000 deaths every year in the United States and has a devastatingly low survival rate when not detected early. Because symptoms of the disease are seldom detected until it has advanced aggressively, many patients do not receive a diagnosis until it is too late to receive effective treatment. However, peer-reviewed research has proven the value of medical imaging to early detection of the disease. The landmark National Lung Screening Trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2011, showed LDCT could reduce death from lung cancer by 20 percent.
The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition represents physicians, medical providers, and patient organizations throughout the U.S. It also includes health technology firms that manufacture imaging equipment and supplies and that employ tens of thousands of workers. Thus, AMIC represents those who develop medical imaging technologies, those who apply it, and those who benefit from it.
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