The Administration of Nuclear Medicine and Cancer Essay

The Administration of Nuclear Medicine and Cancer Essay

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Imagine chopping off organs as the only treatment for abnormal growth of cells. Either that, or dying an ignominious death. Imagine coughing blood, running intermittent high fevers yet not knowing what is wrong with you. Nuclear medicine has helped the human race a great deal to discover diseases which have existed for a long time now but are getting diagnosed only since the 20th century. Not just the diagnosis, nuclear science has made it possible for controlled administration of nuclear radiation acting as a cure for deadly diseases like cancer.
In nuclear medicine, the patient is administered with radiopharmaceuticals (combination of radionuclides with other elements and pharmaceutical compounds) containing substances which have an affinity towards certain tissues of the body which are radioactive tracer labeled. The tracers which are used most often include Technetium-99m, Iodine-123, Thallium-201 and Gallium-67. The organ functions of the human body which are predominantly evaluated through nuclear medicines are the excretory functions of the kidney, the circulatory power of the heart, the functions of the lungs, liver, gallbladder, the ability to concentrate iodine of the thyroid gland and density abnormalities of the bones (Siri, 1949).
The gamma camera is the primary device whichdetects captures and displays in the form of an image, the radiation which is given out by the tracer in the patient’s body. Owing to the advancements in technology, these images can be displayed as axial, coronal or sagittal. In the latest devices, a CT (computed tomography) scan done almost simultaneously as the administration of nuclear medicine can largely enhance the clarity and the accuracy of the diagnostic tests. The Positron Emission Tomog...

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...mes, adapts and changes its principles and relationships according to the expectations of the patients and other disciplines of healthcare. No hospital of repute today can function without nuclear medicine.It is essential that nuclear medicine keep pace with the times and formulate and adopt the best set of practices that can exist given the current technology, severity and complexity of disease that exists in today’s times and the resources at hand. The radiation dose that a patient receives, however small, is said to pose a risk according to internationally accepted guidelines. There is even said to be an unproven risk of cancer developing from the exposure to radiation and nuclear medicine. But till the time this risk remains unproven, patients and doctors alike will continue to take this risk as the benefits keep largely outnumbering the possible risks involved.

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