The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) said the “Cancer Facts & Figures 2013” report released by the American Cancer Society illustrates how medical imaging technologies have improved early detection of cancers. MITA added that the cancer death rate in the United States will continue to decline if Medicare provides coverage for both computed tomographic (CT) colonography to detect colon cancer and low-dose CT lung imaging to detect lung cancer in at-risk populations.

The new “Cancer Facts & Figures 2013” report found that cancer death rates decreased from their peak of 215.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 173.1 per 100,000 in 2009. In particular, death rates continue to decline for lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers.

Recent data suggest that with the utilization of advanced medical imaging technologies, such as low-dose lung CT or CT colonography, death rates will continue to decline.

For example, the 2010 National Lung Screening Trial found that low-dose CT could reduce lung cancer deaths by at least 20 percent in a high-risk population of current and former smokers ages 55 to 74. Similarly, a study conducted at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May 2012 indicated that low-dose CT screening benefits individuals at increased risk for lung cancer, resulting in significantly fewer lung cancer deaths.