International Day of Radiology: From Discovering X-rays to Discovering Ways to Fight Cancer

International Day of Radiology: From Discovering X-rays to Discovering Ways to Fight Cancer

This is a special time for our profession as we celebrate National Radiologic Technology Week. Today specifically is the International Day of Radiology – and this year’s focus is on the lives saved through mammography. Every year, early detection saves literally hundreds of thousands of people.


November 8th, 2016 is the 121st anniversary of the first x-ray, (thanks, Wilhelm Röntgen!). Changes in radiology and imaging over the years since Röntgen’s discovery have drastically impacted the practice of medicine.


Mammography came to popular use in the 1960’s, making earlier detection of breast cancer possible. The routine use of screening has changed the way we find and treat breast cancer, making living with breast cancer increasingly likely. Mammography, breast imaging and imaging guided biopsies have all had a huge impact on this disease.  Much success, much to be proud of, but with an estimated 40,000 women dying from breast cancer this year, the fight is not yet won.


Breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, was only recently FDA-approved – within the past few years. This new advanced mammography tool has further improved our ability to find cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage. It also makes it easier for radiologists to distinguish normal non-cancerous variations in breast tissue, meaning fewer workups.


Mammography is one of the hardest tasks radiologists face, but knowing lives are saved is one of  things that keeps us going and striving to do better. We get to help save lives… what a privilege!


The practice of radiology, especially breast imaging, continues to grow and improve. We can change patients’ lives for the better in ways Röntgen couldn’t have dreamed of. Just as we have witnessed improving technologies across our careers, we know to anticipate amazing, unimaginable things in the future.


Today, we celebrate the technology that allows us to do what we love: center our focus on you, and your best possible breast health.