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  • 08.13.12

    AMIC Commends Efforts to Improve Access to Lung Cancer Screening for High-Risk Veterans

    Washington, D.C. – The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) today applauded the Lung Cancer Alliance’s (LCA) successful efforts urging the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to encourage computed tomography (CT) screening for veterans at high risk for lung cancer.

    “Early detection of lung cancer has proven time and time again to save lives, and low-dose CT is an effective screening tool shown to significantly reduce mortality due to lung cancer,” said Tim Trysla, executive director of AMIC. “Access to screening and diagnostic tools like low-dose CT is critical for patients at high risk for a disease where early diagnosis is essential to treatment and survival. AMIC applauds the VA’s efforts to screen at-risk individuals and encourages more policymakers and healthcare providers to follow suit so that all patients have timely access to life-saving diagnosis and treatment.”

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, and because symptoms often do not appear until the disease has advanced, many patients do not receive a diagnosis until it is too late for effective treatment. Moreover, veterans are at an increased risk for lung cancer due to higher rates of smoking in the armed forces and frequent exposure to cancer-causing chemicals used in warfare.

    A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study published in May 2012 indicated that low-dose CT screening of individuals at an increased risk for lung cancer results in significantly fewer lung cancer-related deaths.  The study’s findings further support results of the National Lung Screening Trial which proved that low-dose CT screening could reduce lung cancer deaths by at least 20 percent in a high-risk population of current and former smokers ages 55 to 74.

    LCA, a member organization of AMIC, is a champion of lung cancer patients in the United States. The group’s efforts to increase access to CT screening for high-risk veterans comes on the heels of its recent, powerful awareness campaign, “No One Deserves to Die,” which aims to debunk the stigma and misperceptions associated with lung cancer patients.

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    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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