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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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Topic:

Type of Radiation typically Exploited in Nuclear Medicine Procedures (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Nuclear medicine is a specialized branch of modern medicine that exploits the
process of radioactivity for imaging, diagnosis, and treatment. Many imaging
techniques inject small amounts of radioactive material into the body, which are then
tracked by a sensing device specific to the type of radiation emitted from that
material. Radiation has also been used to destroy diseased tissue, typically beyond
the reach of standard surgical techniques.
Task: Explain the scientific and technical concepts related to nuclear medicine.
Consider the following questions when you construct your response:
 What type of radiation is typically exploited in most nuclear medicine
procedures?
 How are patients prepared for nuclear medicine procedures?
 What are the advantages and limitations of nuclear medicine?
 What ailments are typically diagnosed and treated via nuclear medicine
procedures?
 Evaluate a minimum of three applications of nuclear medicine relating to any
of the following topics: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans Gallium
scans Indium white blood cell scans Iobenguane scans (MIBG) Octreotide
scans Hybrid scanning techniques employing X-ray computed tomography
(CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
 Nuclear medicine therapy using radiopharmaceuticals
Support your statements with examples. Provide a minimum of three scholarly
references. Write a 2–3-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to
citation of sources.

source..
Content:


Nuclear Medicine
Student's Name
Institutional Affiliation
Course
Professor's Name
Date
Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine is a modern imaging technique that produces unique images and information otherwise not obtainable from other imaging procedures. In this procedure, a patient is injected with, swallows, or inhales radioactive tracers that eject gamma rays. Gamma cameras pick up these rays and project them on a computer as images. Doctors then use them to detect, diagnose, and identify illnesses still in their early stages and determine if these organs are functioning at their ideal level. This paper discusses nuclear medicine as a modern imaging technique, discussing the procedure, advantages, and applications.
The procedure uses tracers, also known as radioactive labels, that are organ-specific. These radiopharmaceuticals consist of a radiation-producing part and a pharmaceutical component. Once in the body, they emit ionizing radiation in the form of gamma rays that a radioactive camera detects and projects on a computer screen as an image (Censullo & Vijayan, 2017). Doctors can then use these images to assess the affected organ for disease or inefficiencies. Iodine 123, gallium 67, and indium 111 are the isotopes that most commonly emit gamma radiation; however, nuclear medicine primarily uses Technetium 99m (Buck et al., 2021). Since this radiation is dangerous, patients take small quantities of a millionth of a gram. Therefore, nuclear medicine is an imaging technique that uses radiopharmaceuticals manufactured for specific organs and administered in minimal doses to produce clear images of internal organs to make informed diagnoses.
Patients prepare differently depending on the purpose of the procedure. Nonetheless, Chandra and Rahmim (2017) state that all nuclear imaging processes have various underlying similarities. (1) doctors advise patients to avoid eating or drinking anything four to twelve hours before the procedure. (2) A patient must also list any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, chronic illnesses, or recent health issues before the process. (3) Female patients must disclose if they are pregnant or breastfeeding since the radiation's long-term effects are dangerous for children. (4) Patients must avoid taking any medication before the procedure for the best results. Once these rules are met, the patient is ready for the procedure. Usually, it begins with a nurse checking the vitals and conducting a thorough physical exam, after which the patient lies down on a designated table. The attending physician then administers a radioisotope by injecting, spraying, or asking the patient to swallow it (Buck et al., 2021). The examining technician then prepares the gamma camera and positions it on the study area after preparation. Once position, the specialist hooks the camera onto a computer, projecting internal images for further examination. Using these images, the doctor thoroughly examines the region or organ in question for any diseases, abnormalities, or functional incapacities.
As a non-invasive procedure, nuclear medicine drastically benefits patients. However, sometimes doctors inject tracers intravenously when deemed medically necessary. Its non-invasive nature reduces the risk of skin infections and medical trauma (Buck et al., 2021). As such, patients recover faster than in other invasive procedures. Furthermore, it culminates in fewer readmissions than most other procedures. Combining nuclear imaging, MRIs, and CT scans produces higher quality images than other imaging methods by combining image fusion with superimposition (Censullo & Vijayan, 2017). From these high-quality images, doctors can precisely and accurately diagnose conditions for proper treatment. However, like any other medical procedure, nuclear medicine is risky since it uses radioactive isotopes administered internally. Prolonged exposure to these materials can cause medical complications such as melanoma and terminal widespread body and skin side effects (Chandra & Rahmim, 2017). It is also expensive for both patients and hospitals. The initial fees are stiff while medical centers must procure expensive machinery and specialists (Chandra & Rahmim, 2017). However, the medical and diagnostic benefits outweigh the detriments. In all, nuclear medicine is a beneficial and dangerous procedure that facilitates the diagnosis of internal organs while expensively exposing patients to harmful radiation.
Medically, nuclear medicine is used as a therapeutic and a diagnostic procedure. Doctors carefully decide when and how to apply it. Therapeutically, professionals use it to treat various cancers and thyroid-related health issues (Buck et al., 2021). Since it is organ-specific, radiation can target a specific internal organ to kill cancerous cells. Diagnostically, medical practitioners use Gallium scans to diagnose, detect, establish the extent of and evaluate sicknesses (Buck et al.,

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