Nuclear medicine is a branch of medicine that uses radioactive substances to diagnose and treat cancer. It is a precise and targeted form of treatment that can be used to deliver radiation directly to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Nuclear medicine can also be used to diagnose cancer by providing images of the tumor and its spread.
Nuclear medicine applications for cancer treatment include:
Nuclear medicine is a safe and effective treatment for cancer. It is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy. Nuclear medicine can help to improve the chances of successful treatment and to reduce the side effects of other treatments.
Nuclear medicine is used for cancer treatment by using trace amounts of radioactive substances to know about organ function and image-specific regions. By monitoring the absorption or the uptake of radiopharmaceuticals in the targeted tissues, the level of organ or tissue function can be determined. Typically, the choice of radionuclides depends on the body area being examined and the type of study being undertaken.
When the patient is undergoing the procedure, a radioactive tracer (radiopharmaceutical) is introduced to the patient through intravenous injection, oral ingestion, or any other administration route which is favorable depending on the intended organ and the function performed by that organ. Gamma cameras, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) cameras, or stationary radiation detectors are determined using the organ metabolism, function, and or blood flow. The resultant images are furthermore interpreted and quantified for further analysis.
A PET scan stands apart from other imaging methods by showcasing molecular activity, enabling early disease detection. As a highly dependable tool, it aids in identifying various disease processes. PET CT, a fusion of two imaging technologies, provides comprehensive insights. PET measures biological processes, while CT generates detailed cross-sectional anatomical images. The integration of both datasets forms a precise three-dimensional hybrid image, effectively mapping metabolic processes across all spatial dimensions.