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Better Treatment

Better Treatment

Having access to the most advanced imaging technologies improves health outcomes. Peer-reviewed data demonstrates that timely access to imaging allows physicians to more accurately identify and treat diseases and care for their patients. By reducing the need for invasive procedures and allowing physicians to look inside the body to detect disease, imaging improves treatment of many conditions.

Below are a few ways that imaging has improved treatment decisions among various diseases:

  • PET: Researchers confirmed that positron emission tomography (PET) is the most powerful tool in the management of a wide range of cancers with the most recent release of data from the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR). Physicians reported that PET scanning allowed them to avoid additional tests or procedures 77 percent of the time and in over 36 percent of cases, PET scanning resulted in a post-treatment change in decision to treat or not treat, meaning longer and better quality of life for many cancer patients.
  • CT/MRI: Reviewing CT and MRI results often leads to changes in treatment recommendations for stroke patients by better informing choice of therapy and extending critical treatment time windows. For example, researchers have recently shown that MRI can extend critical treatment time windows for stroke patients, particularly when using injected drugs to break up blood clots. Patients who have been assessed with MRI and then treated in the extended time frame had more favorable outcomes.
  • Mammography: Hailed in the New England Journal of Medicine as “one of the most important recent achievements in cancer control,” has been associated with a 24% decrease in the death rate from breast cancer (even after taking patient age into account) from 1989-2003.
  • Breast MRI: Evaluation is often used to determine whether cancer has spread throughout the breast tissue (multi-centric) or is localized in one particular area. For some patients, MRI offers more complete disease detection at the outset, which allows patients and physicians to make better therapy choices (e.g., breast conserving surgery vs. radical surgery). For example, researchers from Northwestern University found that preoperative bilateral MRI leads to beneficial change in surgical plans in nearly 10% of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
  • Virtual Colonoscopy: A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that virtual colonoscopy – a minimally invasive examination of the entire colon with CT scanning – is an accurate screening method for detecting cancerous polyps in the colon at their earliest and most treatable stages. The study concluded that virtual colonoscopy – which many patients believe is more comfortable than regular colonoscopy – is just as effective, easier, and more convenient than the traditional method which is performed with an optical scope.

Early Diagnosis

Advances in medical imaging have improved disease screening and diagnosis for a range of acute and chronic conditions...
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Less Invasive

Over the past few decades medical imaging has dramatically reduced reliance on exploratory surgery nearly making the term obsolete...
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Cost Savings

When patients have access to and receive the right scan at the right time, costs are reduced and workers are healthier and more productive...
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