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Medical imaging benefits far outweigh radiation risks
Date:3/5/2009

Reston, Va.In response to a recent report by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) stating that the U.S. population is exposed to seven times more radiation from medical imaging exams than in 1980, SNM urges Americans to consider the proven benefits of such imaging.

SNM and its 17,000 members physicians, clinicians and technologists support the use of diagnostic imaging when deemed medically necessary by a physician and in the best interest of the patient. In such cases, diagnostic imaging could make a significant difference in the diagnosis, treatment or overall management of disease.

"Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging hold great promise for diagnosis and tailoring treatments for patients with cancer, neurological or cardiovascular disorders," said Robert W. Atcher, PhD, MBA, president of SNM. "We support giving patients the care they need by qualified, accredited nuclear medicine and molecular imaging physicians."

Citing studies such as the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), Dr. Atcher described how medical imaging has led to a change in treatment in more than one out of three patients with common forms of cancer. This means that physicians successfully use PET scans to detect disease earlier, provide more targeted treatment and therapy, and often eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.

To further protect patients, SNM is actively collaborating with other organizations representing oncologists, cardiologists, radiologists and other medical professions to ensure that anyonewhether a physician or technologistis adequately trained and credentialed prior to performing a nuclear medicine procedure. For example, at a recent SNM educational symposium held in conjunction with the American College of Nuclear Physicians, more than 100 imaging cases were reviewed by approximately 300 medical professionals to certify their knowledge of the procedure. The society advocates incorporating such
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Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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