International Day of Radiology to Recognize More than a Century of Lives Saved and Improved by Radiologists and Medical Imaging Exams

Oct 17, 2012, 12:50 ET from Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) are the proud North American organizers of the first annual International Day of Radiology — November 8, 2012 — marking the 117th anniversary of the discovery of the X-ray and the tremendous advances in patient care made possible by radiation therapy and medical imaging exams, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT).

More than a century of radiological research has produced great technological leaps, enabled more effective and efficient care, saved countless lives and revolutionized modern medicine:

  • The New England Journal of Medicine named imaging among the top 10 medical advances of the last 1,000 years.
  • Imaging scans have virtually eliminated exploratory surgeries, reduced unnecessary hospital admissions and often shorten hospital stays.
  • According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, access to medical imaging is directly linked to greater life expectancy. Those with greater access to scans live longer than other Americans.
  • Practicing physicians surveyed in a Health Affairs study ranked CT and MRI as the top recent medical innovations.

"Deaths from cancer and other serious illnesses and injuries have plummeted in recent years largely due to early diagnosis made possible by imaging exams. Millions of people worldwide are alive, and many more are enjoying a greater quality of life today, because of advances in radiation therapy to treat many of the world's deadliest cancers. International Day of Radiology recognizes one of the most successful technological and professional advancements in the history of modern health care," said Paul H. Ellenbogen, M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.

Recent advances in medical imaging technology, including the advent of virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography), provide people with less invasive alternatives to cancer screening, including for colorectal cancer, one of the leading cancer killers. The breast cancer death rate in the United States has dropped more than 30 percent since mammography use became widespread in 1990. Ongoing radiologic research is working toward similar successes and technological advances to benefit all mankind.

"Medical imaging saves lives, resources and time. Imaging exams generally cost less than the invasive surgeries that they replace and can be used to diagnose illnesses early — when they can be treated most effectively and inexpensively. In fact, the beneficial impact of medical imaging exams on extending patients' life expectancy is actually greater than the negative impact of obesity or diabetes. November 8 is International Day of Radiology, but radiology and radiologists make a world of difference every day," said George S. Bisset III, M.D., president of the Radiological Society of North America.

Radiology professionals are working together to inform patients about the critical role medical imaging plays in patient care. ACR and RSNA jointly sponsor, an important resource that explains medical imaging tests and treatments in detailed, easy-to-understand language, helping patients to understand and prepare for imaging procedures.

The European Society of Radiology (ESR), which sponsored the first European Day of Radiology in February 2011, joins ACR and RSNA as an International Day of Radiology co-sponsor. More than 66 medical societies in 38 countries around the globe also are taking part in celebration of radiology. For more information, visit or

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)