Radioisotopes and their Medical Uses

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A radioisotope is an isotope that emits radiation as it has nuclear instability(Prostate Cancer; Fusion imaging helps target greater doses of radiation).Those who are not too familiar with radioisotopes may think their use is for harmful radiation, nuclear weapons, and the possibility of turning into a giant, raging, green monster. However, there are much more positive uses for radioisotopes. There have been many medical advances thanks to the benefit and practice of radioisotopes in nuclear medicine. These advances have been able to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. It was 1939 was when the use of radioisotope in medical clinics began. This radioisotope was Iodine-131 and it was used in thyroid investigations. Iodine-131 was also later used for treating hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. After the success of using this radioisotope, other radioactive isotopes became accessible (Keevil). Technetium-99m was used in an imaging demonstration in 1964. As a result of its favorable physical and chemical properties, it quickly became one of the most used radioisotopes for nuclear medical procedures (Keevil). This radioisotope can be found in nuclear medicine procedures that involve diagnostics of the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, spleen, bones, and blood flow (GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy). Radioisotopes have helped create advanced imaging techniques. Beforehand, X rays could only provide so much information such as broken bones, abnormal growths, and locating foreign objects in the body. Now it is possible to obtain much more information from medical imaging. Not only can this advanced imaging give imaging of tiny structures in the body, but it can also provide details such as cancerous cells and damaged heart tissue from a heart... ... middle of paper ... ...b. 2010: 353. eLibrary. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. "Imaging and radiology." Magill's Medical Guide, 4th Rev. ed.. 2008. eLibrary. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. Keevil, F, Stephen.. "Physics and Medicine 1: Physics and medicine: a historical perspective." Lancet 9825(2012):1517. eLibrary. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. ""Magic Bullets" Against Disease." World Book Science Year. 2009. eLibrary. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. "Medical Research 2005: Seeing Beneath Our Skin: Imaging the Body." World Book Science Year. 2009. eLibrary. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. "Prostate Cancer; Fusion imaging helps target greater doses of radiation to prostate cancer cells." Cancerweekly Plus. 21 Oct. 2003: 147.eLibrary. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. "Using Monoclonal Antibodies." Hutchinson Encyclopedia. 2011. eLibrary. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. "What are the treatments for cancer?." A.D.A.M. Life's Greatest Mysteries. 2001. eLibrary. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

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