The process of shedding the radiation is called radioactive decay. Permanent implant seeds 40 to of iodine or palladium are used in brachytherapy for early stage prostate cancer. The attributes of naturally decaying atoms, known as radioisotopes, give rise to several applications across many aspects of modern day life see also information paper on The Many Uses radioiisotopes Nuclear Technology. Pb can be attached to monoclonal antibodies for cancer treatment by TAT. Lu is essentially a low-energy beta-emitter with some gamma and the carrier attaches to the surface of the tumour.

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Carbon Also used to detect heart problems and diagnose certain types of cancer. Nitrogen Used in PET scans as a blood flow tracer and in cardiac studies. Oxygen 2. Fluorine 1. Used in a variety of research and diagnostic applications, including the labeling of glucose as fluorodeoxyglucose to detect brain tumours via increased glucose metabolism.

Copper Gallium Used in imaging to detect tumours and infections. Iodine Used in imaging to monitor thyroid function and detect adrenal dysfunction.

Thallium Used in imaging to detect the location of damaged heart muscle. Nuclear imaging Nuclear imaging is a diagnostic technique that uses radioisotopes that emit gamma rays from within the body. How is nuclear imaging different to other imaging systems? Nuclear imaging shows the position and concentration of the radioisotope.

Both bone and soft tissue can be imaged successfully with this system. How does nuclear imaging work? A radiopharmaceutical is given orally, injected or inhaled, and is detected by a gamma camera which is used to create a computer-enhanced image that can be viewed by the physician.

Nuclear imaging measures the function of a part of the body by measuring blood flow, distribution or accumulation of the radioisotope , and does not provide highly-resolved anatomical images of body structures.

What can nuclear imaging tell us? It highlights the almost microscopic remodelling attempts of the skeleton as it fights the invading cancer cells. Other types of imaging Positron Emission Tomography PET scans A widely-used nuclear imaging technique for detecting cancers and examining metabolic activity in humans and animals.

A small amount of short-lived, positron-emitting radioactive isotope is injected into the body on a carrier molecule such as glucose. Glucose carries the positron emitter to areas of high metabolic activity, such as a growing cancer. The information is then processed to show a 3-D cross-section of body tissues and organs. Since they provide views of the body slice by slice, CT scans provide much more comprehensive information than conventional X-rays.

CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue - lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels - with greater clarity than X-ray images. Though a CT scan uses radiation, it is not a nuclear imaging technique, because the source of radiation - the X-rays - comes from equipment outside the body as opposed to a radiopharmaceutical inside the body.

PET scans are frequently combined with CT scans, with the PET scan providing functional information where the radioisotope has accumulated and the CT scan refining the location.

The primary advantage of PET imaging is that it can provide the examining physician with quantified data about the radiopharmaceutical distribution in the absorbing tissue or organ.


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