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.
Nuclear Power and Its Uses At first nuclear power was only seen as a means of destruction but after World War II a major effort was made to apply nuclear energy to peacetime uses. Nuclear power if made when a nucleus of an atom is split to release a powerful burst of energy. Though technological advancements nuclear power now supplies us with new medical aids, a new power source and new ways to do scientific research. New medical advancements are being produced rapidly due to nuclear power. Nuclear material is now being used to treat diseases.
During experimentation with electricity, he found that certain types of energy were able to pass through his body and produce an image of his skeletal structure. Shortly after Roentgen’s discovery of how to produce x-rays, the medical potential of them was explored and used to diagnose health issues. The use of radiation was taken even further than x-rays by Emil Grubbe, who became the first radiation oncologist. Radiation oncology is the study of the therapeutic benefits of radiation. Grubbe earned this title because he was the first to propose using x-rays as treatment for breast cancer, and his experiment was accompanied by immense success.
What would Wilhelm Roentgen, the father of X-ray, say about the technological discoveries in radiology today? Since the start of X-rays in 1895 significant advancements have revolutionized the field of radiology. One illustrates how different scanners have improved, in addition how picture archiving communication system can assist doctors, and finally the outlook on the future of radiology. To begin with, how has technology changed the field of radiology? Since the discovery of X-radiation there has been a need and desire for studying the human body and the diseases without actually any intervention.
From treating cancer and delivering babies to dealing with heart attacks, doctors have developed technology and improved techniques. The three main changes that are revolutionizing the medical field are electronic medical records, population science and clinical practice guidelines. With the help of advanced technology, evaluating patients on a large scale, physicians can view the death rate, life span and frequency of illness throughout the healthcare system. On an individual basis, the physician can treat an illness. When the entire population is considered, issues such as cancer, heart disease and obesity are a growing epidemic.
These abilities make nuclear medicine an invaluable necessity in the medical field. How Science is Applied and How Effective Nuclear Medicine is One example of nuclear science is a PET or positron emission tomography, scan. This scan detects radiation emitted from a radioactive substance that i injected into the body. The isotopes that are usually used for this scan are; Carbon- 11, Fluorine- 18, Oxygen- 15, and Nitrogen- 13 (Freudenrich, 2000) because of their radioactivity, or property of emitting energetic particles. Another reason that these isotopes are used because of their relatively radioactive decay, or disintegration of a radioactive substance.
Vaccinations, antibiotics, transplants, and laboratory testing are all examples of how medicine has progressed up until today. These advancements have extended the human lifespan significantly since the beginning of the 20th century. Lab testing and the development of radiology is a great example because it has changed so many ways lives from when it was first invented. Doctors and nurses use many forms of radiology including CT scans, x-rays, MRI’s, among others, to study a patient and analyze what is wrong inside their body. The use of radiology, more specifically nuclear medicine, is used to help treat cancer patients.
X-rays are used to get a view into the body without having to cut it open. Radiation has been used for therapeutic uses. These therapies can be used to kill cancer, reduce tumor size, and ease pain. “hospitals and radiology centers perform approximately 10 million nuclear medicine procedures in the United States each year”. (nrc.gov) Nuclear technology has become a cure for people and has extended many lives.
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.