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Emily Pappas

National Photonics Initiative Commends USPSTF Recommendation for Lung Cancer Screening

Use of photonics-based technology for early detection will save lives

WASHINGTON – July 30, 2013 – In a landmark decision, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a recommendation strongly endorsing low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans for patients at high risk for lung cancer. CT scans can be used both to detect suspicious lung nodules as well as to determine which nodules are growing at a rate consistent with the behavior of an aggressive lung cancer. In response to this recommendation, National Photonics Initiative (NPI) spokesperson Emily Pappas issued the following statement:

"On behalf of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), I applaud the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for recommending that patients at high-risk for lung cancer receive low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans for early detection of malignancy. NPI member organizations have long supported the development of the platform and software that allow for the precise measurement of suspect nodules, critical for accurate, early diagnosis of lung cancer. Only 16 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed at a stage when the disease is most treatable and curable, making it the most deadly form of cancer in the United States today. USPSTF’s recommendation presents an important opportunity for the United States to move towards more efficient integration of imaging technology in public health protocols that systematically identify early, often curable disease.

"CT scans and other life-saving imaging technology would not exist without optics and photonics, the science and application of light. Photonics plays a key role in next-generation health care, both in enhancing the ability to observe and measure symptoms and the capability to treat patients earlier with less invasive, more cost-effective methods. Further investment in photonics will lead to additional technological breakthroughs that, like the CT scan, can allow for preventative screenings and treatments that will ultimately lead to better care and lower health-related costs for Americans."
About the NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit www.lightourfuture.org.
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