Nuclear medicine, a sophisticated and technically precise method of diagnostics and therapy, that involves giving a patient a small amount of radioactive medication, called a radiopharmaceutical. This makes the body slightly radioactive for a short time. A special nuclear medicine camera detects the radiation, which is emitted (released) from the body and takes images or pictures of how the inside of the body is working. Many different organs can be imaged depending on the type of radioactive medication used. The radioactive medication is most commonly injected into the bloodstream through a vein.
It helps to determine the severity or to treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body. Because nuclear medicine procedures are able to pinpoint molecular activity within the body, they offer the potential to identify the disease in its earliest stages as well as a patient’s immediate response to therapeutic interventions.
With the help of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, scientists and healthcare providers are:
Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging are integral to the care of patients with cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders: