Feature | October 14, 2007 | Rick Dana Barlow

October a festive time for oncology, radiology

An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.—Robert Louis Stevenson

For cancer treatment and imaging specialists, the 10th month of the year is the time to celebrate more than just Columbus Day and Halloween. October plays host to no less than five significant events for oncology and radiology.
The first full week is designated Nuclear Medicine Week by the Society for Nuclear Medicine and the SNM Technologist Section to recognize nuclear medicine and molecular imaging professionals.
Monday, October 19, is designated National Mammography Day.
The entire month also is dedicated to National Breast Cancer Awareness and Medical Ultrasound Awareness.
The month closes with the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology (ASTRO) in Los Angeles (October 27-November 1).
On the surface, these may seem like series of events loosely tied together by coincidence, if not convenience. But you’d be missing the point.
These thematic events recognize professionals, techniques and technologies that make a difference in thousands of people’s lives every day. And it’s easy to take them for granted – especially if you’re not a player in the industry or if you don’t need any of these professionals to help you with a physical affliction.
Despite declining reimbursement that threatens to push the promise of new technology just out of financial reach, the dedicated and determined men and women who participate in these disciplines simply want to improve people’s lives and make a difference.
Award-winning actor Gene Hackman once was quoted as saying, “The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.”
Oncologists and radiologists step forward on a daily basis to battle organic invaders of the human body while calmingly reassuring patients, if possible, that everything will be fine. To those patients, there’s nothing sweeter than hearing, “you’ll make a full recovery,” or “you’re in complete remission.”
Remember these people this month and thank them for what they do and who they are.
See you in 60.

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