News | November 29, 2007

MITA VP Speaks on Benefits of CT Scans Relative to Radiation Dose Risks

November 30, 2007 — “CT scans are helping to save countless lives of patients with cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders,” said Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) Vice President Andrew Whitman in an official statement released Nov. 29.

“Indeed, the New England Journal of Medicine has acknowledged the value of medical imaging, calling it one of the top 11 innovations of the past 1,000 years. Like many other advanced medical imaging technologies that detect and treat life threatening diseases CT scans use carefully controlled radiation. This remarkable technology helps doctors and other medical professionals provide the best possible diagnosis and care plan for their patients. CT allows doctors and surgeons to find disease earlier and plan treatment options that are tailored for each individual patient's condition. This allows for better patient care.”

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Cancer Institute agree that the benefits that CT scans provide far outweigh the small risks associated with CT scans. It is a generally accepted assumption that one has a 25 percent chance of getting cancer over one's lifetime. Using the FDA-published risk factors, a CT cardiac stress/rest perfusion study, for example, increases the risk of cancer by only 0.05 percent -- five one hundredths of a percent. That’s a minuscule risk compared to the extraordinarily high benefits that CT scans provide patients in fighting disease.”

“The medical imaging industry is constantly striving to develop innovative new technologies to maximize health outcomes and minimize radiation doses. Patients and their families should also know that systems are in place to ensure their safety. CT scans are rigorously tested and regulated. Not only do manufacturers test them, but each device must meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s strict medical imaging performance standards and industry performance standards. Medical imaging manufacturers, in their development and innovation of new technologies, include addressing the important issue of radiation dose.”

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