Use of Radioisotopes in Nuclear Medicine

One of the recent branches of medical science is the nuclear medicine. Various various elements nuclear medicine uses radiation for generating diagnostic information relating to functioning of specific organisms. Such radiation is also used for therapeutic treatment of ailing organs. Such diagnostic processes have now become a routine affair in medical science.

Use of Radioisotopes and Radiotherapy

Radioisotopes for radiotherapy are often used in the treatment of –

• Cancer of any type;

• Tumors and other external and internal disfigurations in human anatomy;

• It targets the damaged, effected, or ailing cells and destroys them;

• Since use is painless the demands are growing rapidly.

Use of Radioisotopes in Nuclear Medicine

In nuclear medicine the radioisotopes are used for detecting the specific functions of the organs or for treating the diseases. The reasons for its widespread use are

• Diagnosis is quick and accurate about the illness of the patient;

• Organs like thyroid, bones, heart, and liver can get damaged pretty easily and disorders in their functioning can be detected using radiations;

• As many as five Nobel laureates were associated with the development of radioisotopes based detecting methods in medical science;

• More than ten thousand hospitals across the globe use radioisotopes in medicine;

• 90% of these uses are for diagnostic purposes;

• Common radioisotope used in diagnosis is the technetium-99 that is used in over thirty million procedures a year accounting for over 80% of all medicine procedures in the world.

Frequencies of Radioisotopes Use

26% of the world population resides in developed countries. Frequency of use of nuclear medicines and therefore radioisotopes in these countries come to 1.9% per annual. Over 18 million frequencies are used in United States alone for around 305 million people. Such frequencies in Europe come to about ten million for 500 million people. Use of radioisotopes comes to around 560,000 in Australia for 21 million people.

Specific Use of Radioisotopes in Medical Procedures

36% of the total radiation exposure is used for the computed X-ray tomography or CT scan as they are often known. According to the US National Council on the Radiation Protection and Measurements Report of the year 2009, the exposure to radiation in US has increased from 3.6 millisievert to that of 6.2 millisieverts during 1980-2010.