M4 Assignment 2 Nuclear Medicine

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M4 Assignment 2 Nuclear Medicine

Contemporary Applications of The Sciences

Argosy University SCI215 A02

There are many types of medicine and medical treatments to help alleviate any illness or

even prevent illnesses. Medicines ranging from prescription medicine, to complementary and

alternative medicines, to nuclear medicines. Each one is meant to help us get well in case we

every may become ill. Not all medicines are as simple as a regular prescribed medicine. For

example nuclear medicine is not any regular form of medicine. Nuclear medicine is a medical

specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of

disease and illnesses.

Nuclear medicine is a safe and painless method of medicine that permits the

determination of information that may be unavailable, that may require surgery, or a more

expensive or invasive diagnostic testing. The procedures often help identify abnormalities early

in the progression of the disease and long before the medical problem may be apparent to

diagnostic tests. Procedures of nuclear medicine allows early detection of diseases and this way

also allowing treatment early in the detection of the disease for a more successful prognosis.

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.)

Furthermore, nuclear medicine is used to treat diseases like hyperthyroidism, thyroid

cancer, lymphoma, and bone pains associate with some cancers. The procedure requires the

administration of radiopharmaceuticals that depending on the medical examination they may be

inhaled, injected, or swallowed. These radioactive chemicals may be in the form of a solid,

liquid, or gas that releases radio energy that can be detected by a camera that detect radiation.

This radiation detecting camera allows doctors to check if organs are functioning properly and

the detection of disease early in the progression of the disease. The radioactive material has a

unique half-life that stops being radioactive quickly and usually leaves the human body within

hours or months. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.)

Patients are given a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical and once the

radiopharmaceutical reaches the region of the body that is under study the patient is asked to lay

down so that the radiation detecting camera can be positioned close to the region of the body

under study and the scanning begins. Doctors can view the images on a computer monitor or a

specialist can communicate the results to your doctor. How to prepare for your nuclear medicine

exam depends of the procedure you will be undergoing and shall be consulted with your doctor.

(UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, 2015)

Moreover, nuclear medicine has its advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages of

nuclear medicine are the ability to make complex procedures simple and safe with more detailed

and accurate examines, nuclear medicine allows early detection of diseases that can mark the

difference between life and death if not treated on time. Some disadvantages associated with

nuclear medicine are some health risks run for those that are young, pregnant, or elder and can

make some health issues worse in some patients,. Another disadvantage of nuclear medicine is

the high cost to maintain, install and operate machines used for nuclear medicine this making

nuclear medicine procedures and exams also fairly expensive. (Advice America, 2016)

Some application of nuclear medicine are Gallium scans, Indium white blood cell scans,

and Octreotide Scans. Gallium Scans is one nuclear medicine application. Gallium scan test look

for swelling, infections, tumors, and some cancers in the body. This is a procedure that consist of

the injection of gallium into the vein traveling through the blood stream and collecting in the

bones and certain organs. Six to forty eight hours after the gallium is injected you are told to

return to perform a scan. You will be told to lie down while the scanning is being conducted. The

procedure may last between 30 to 60 minutes. (Pietangelo, 2005-2016)

Indium white blood cell scan is a procedure in which 50ml of blood are withdrawn from

the patient, the white blood cells are collected from this blood and are exposed to indium and

later reinjected into the patient via IV pack. Eighteen to twenty four hours later the patient is

scheduled for a scan. The patient is asked to lie on a special table where either one camera passes

underneath the table of in some cases two cameras on top and one underneath are used for the

scans. After the scanning the patient is able to continue with normal day activities. (Indium Scan

of the Body, 2003-2016)

Octreotide scans are used to detect certain cancers arising from the neuro-edocrine

systems. This procedure also consist of injecting a small amount of radioactive material into a

vein in the arm and then about 4 hour later you return for a full body scan. The camera is placed

above and below your body to detect radiation traveling from your head all the way down to

your toes. This procedure takes about 40 minutes. Next the camera three dimensional images by

taking images while rotating in circles around your body. The equipment never touches your

body. The following day the patient will have to go in to take the same images but this time no

radioactive material will be injected. After this a hospital or radiology practice will create three

dimensional images out of the pictures taken. (Triantafillou, Nandurkar, 2013-2015)

I am happy to know that technology has advanced so much to the point that doctors are

able to detect and treat diseases and illness way early in the progression of the disease. This

means the difference between life and death and may save the lives of many. Technology is there

and we should take advantage of it and use it any time it is recommended by a doctor.

Technology and nuclear medicine may have its pros and cons but it really does save lives.


5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Medicine. (2016). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.adviseamerica.com/5-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-nuclear-medicine/

Indium Scan of the Body. (2003-2016). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Indium Scan of the Body

Nuclear Medicine Procedures. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/nuclear_medicine.htm

Prepare for a Nuclear Medicine Procedure. (2015). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from https://radiology.ucsf.edu/patient-care/prepare/nuclear-medicine

Pietrangelo, A. (2005-2016). All About Gallium Scans. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.healthline.com/health/gallium-scan#Overview1http://www.healthline.com/health/gallium-scan#Overview1

Triantafillou, M., & Nandurkar, D. (2013-2015). Octreotide Scan. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.insideradiology.com.au/pages/view.php?T_id=14#.Vw8DFTArLIUhttp://www.insideradiology.com.au/pages/view.php?T_id=14#.Vw8DFTArLIU

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