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What Is Nuclear Medicine?

What is nuclear medicine

Some diagnostic tests and treatment necessitate the administration of nuclear medicine. As part of the diagnostic or treatment procedures, the medicine helps physician get the information he needs in making crucial decisions to treat your disease effectively such as performing surgical procedures or recommending that you undergo invasive diagnostic examinations.

The administration of nuclear medicine enables your physician to detect diseases early that otherwise can progress and put your life at risk. You know how important early detection is, especially with life threatening diseases such as those that involve your heart. You need not worry about its administration, as this medicine is safe and will not cause you any pain.

Radionuclide scan

Nuclear Medicine Technology

Here is an example about how it worls. This medicine, containing miniscule dose of radio-active materials (medically referred to as radiopharmaceuticals), is administered through any of the following: oral, inhalation, or injection. The medicine content goes to the part of your body that needs treatment for the disease.

The radioactive content is what allows the scanning and imaging of the problem area, for instance your heart. A special equipment detects this content, known as gamma rays, and allows a nuclear specialist to see what’s inside of your body. The captured image and the information collected from the procedure enables your physician to accurately diagnose your disease and administer corresponding treatment.

How Safe Is Nuclear Medicine?

It is a common belief that anything with radiation is risky. However, just like any other medicines, nuclear medicine undergoes rigorous clinical testing and trials as well as meticulous screening before it gets its seal of safety and approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The radiation element of the medicine is microscopic, that the risks of adverse reaction is roughly 3 incidents per 100,000 administration. Most of the incidents only involve tolerable skin rashes. Comparatively speaking, X-rays pose higher risks of adverse effects.

Nuclear medicine scan

Since the radioactive content is extremely small, the medicine is safe to use. Exposure to radiation becomes harmful when the body receives it in large quantities. The amount you receive during the diagnostic treatment is insignificant and much lower than the amount of natural radiation you receive from the environment.

Nuclear Medicine – Uses

Radiopharmaceutical medicines have several uses apart from diagnostic testing. It can form part of an effective treatment for hyperthyroidism and cancer, and/or relieve symptoms such as bone pain. To increase safety of the medicine, it is always best to drink plenty of water after the procedure to encourage frequent urination.

This helps remove any traces of radiation from your body. Generally speaking, nuclear medicine is safe that you can even undergo more than one procedure in a year upon recommendation of your physician.

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