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Industry top guns trek to Capitol Hill

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Industry executives and key members of the oncology community held a briefing today on Capitol Hill. The goal was simple: get the word out that U.S. residents would not want to live without medical imaging.

Industry executives and key members of the oncology community held a briefing today on Capitol Hill. The goal was simple: get the word out that U.S. residents would not want to live without medical imaging.

In prepared remarks to Capitol Hill staffers, Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, drove home the point that imaging devices have dramatically improved cancer care. He singled out PET/CT as allowing physicians to see cancer earlier, localize and personalize treatment, and monitor its effectiveness.

Dr. Roy Beveridge, an oncologist at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, described imaging as a noninvasive replacement for surgery in the detection, diagnosis, and staging of cancers.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, along with US Oncology, a healthcare services network dedicated to cancer treatment and research, organized the event, which featured Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) as moderator. It is the latest round in NEMA's fight to increase national awareness of the role played by medical imaging in the betterment of healthcare.

"We are attempting to capture and reflect in clear, understandable language how imaging has improved the diagnosis and treatment of cancer over the last 30 years," said NEMA spokesperson Ron Geigle. "There is not enough understanding of the clinical and economic contributions that imaging provides."

A white paper, released during the event, provides those details. The paper, entitled Medical Imaging in Cancer Care: Charting the Progress, identified four key benefits derived from medical imaging: less invasive cancer diagnosis and treatment, more effective management of cancer, increased efficiencies and savings in cancer care, and improved worker productivity.

"A lot of what imaging does is taken for granted," Geigle said. "We could not live without it. We don't want to live without it. Therefore, it is important to step up to the plate and explain plainly why our world is significantly better in terms of cancer diagnosis and treatment thanks to medical imaging."

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