Medical Treatment
By Olivia Ferdon and Kaili McDonald

Nuclear Medicine

There are five different types of Medical Treatment that use nuclear energy. These are MRIs, PET scan, X-Rays,
Radiotracers, and Radiation Therapy.

MRI
The first type of Medical Treatments that use nuclear energy is MRIs. MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), MRI can scan the head, chest, blood vessels, abdomen and pelvis, bones and joints, and the spine.
When getting an MRI you have to remove all metal objects on your body, such as: hearing aids, dentures, jewelry, watches, and hairpins. The test can take 30-60 minutes or up to 2 hours.
You may feel these after the treatment:
  • tingling in the mouth if you have metal dental filings
  • May feel nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, pain, burning, or breathing problems

Also iron pigments in tattoos or tattooed eyeliner can cause skin or eye irritation.


MRI-Machine-9.jpeg

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer. It uses radiation in waves of rays to destruct and get rid of the deathly cancer cells. The radiation being emitted is pinpointed to the cancer area of the patients body. Therefore, the radiation is most likely to damage the cancer cells and not the healthy cells that the patient needs.

Radiation actually breaks a part of the DNA of the cancer cell. The cell can no longer function without it's DNA fully intact and that causes the cell to die.

Radiation Oncologists are the doctors who plan out how much radiation to give the patient, and where and how the procedure should be done. Radiation therapists are the experts who carry out the procedure of giving radiation to the patients.

external image Radiation_crop380w.jpg?1212559733

Radiotracers

A radiotracer is known as a radio-pharmaceutical due to the fact that is a drug that gives off radioactivity. There are many different types of radiotracers that can be used in a specific part of the human body. They are used to help determine is one has a certain disease such as cancer. Small amounts of the drugs are taken into the body of the patient. Since the radiotracers emit radiation, doctors are able to take pictures with cameras that pick up molecular activity. With the images taken, doctors can find where the disease is in the body, and the severity of the patient's problem.

If radiotracers and imaging are taken at the right time, doctors are able to treat the patients cancer or disease before it gets to severe to treat. Often times, radiotracers can prevent a tragic death.

Radiotracers detect cancer in the human body. This image comes from a PET scan.
Radiotracers detect cancer in the human body. This image comes from a PET scan.

 PET Scan image of radiotracers showing tumors in mice
PET Scan image of radiotracers showing tumors in mice


PET Scans

PET Scans stand for Positron Emission Tomography Scans. They are the type of imagery tests that radiotracers (above section) are used in. PET are often used in neuroscience to discover more about the proteins and reactors in the brain. While studying the brain through a pet scan a scientist can even see if the subject has depression just by looking at how and where the radiotracers are in the image.




X-Rays
Electromagnetic radiation of high energy and very short wavelength that is able to pass through many materials opaque to light. You can get an X-Ray of just about anything. It helps you see broken bones, helps dentists with seeing teeth and cavities. X-Rays are very similar to MRIs.




Multiple Choice - OK ~Mr. C.



Sites used:
  • www.cancer.org
  • www.radiologyinfo.org
  • eeweb.poly.edu/~yao/EL5823/NuclearPhysics_ch7.pdf
  • www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805092
  • www.mayoclinic.com/health/pet-scan/MY00238