What is nuclear medicine?

Small quantities of radioactive substances, or radiopharmaceuticals, are used in nuclear medicine to identify and treat a wide range of illnesses. Radiopharmaceuticals are used in diagnostic nuclear medicine to scan the operation of particular bodily systems or organs. Radiopharmaceuticals treat many cancers and other illnesses in therapeutic nuclear medicine. These therapies entail delivering radioactive substances to the source of the disease, like a tumour, where the radiation may kill cancerous cells or other abnormal tissue. Due to thorough radiation exposure control and monitoring, nuclear medicine techniques are generally non-invasive and safe.

What is nuclear medicine made of?

Small quantities of radioactive substances, known as radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers, are used in nuclear medicine. These substances are typically composed of a radioactive isotope in combination with a pharmaceutical or biological molecule. Nuclear medicine uses a particular radioactive isotope because of its unique characteristics, such as the kind and amount of radiation it emits. The pharmaceutical or biological molecule is selected according to the target organ or tissue being investigated or treated. Nuclear medicine uses carefully developed and produced radiopharmaceuticals to assure the effectiveness and safety of the treatment. In order to reduce the chance of radiation exposure for patients and medical personnel, a minimal amount of radioactivity is utilised, which is carefully controlled and monitored. Dr Mthombeni routinely administers radiopharmaceuticals in a clinical setting to guarantee the correct handling and disposal of radioactive materials.

How do you administer nuclear medicine?

Different nuclear medicines are administered depending on the precise procedure and the radiopharmaceutical employed. Procedures in nuclear medicine could entail injecting a radiotracer into a vein, swallowing a radiopharmaceutical in the form of a pill, or inhaling a radiopharmaceutical in the form of a gas or aerosol. The imaging or treatment procedure might start after the radiopharmaceutical has been administered to the patient. By using specialised cameras or scanners, imaging operations can produce precise images of the target organ or tissue by detecting the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceutical. Delivering focused radiation to the site of the disease, such as a tumour, can help eradicate cancer cells and other abnormal tissue.

What is the outcome of nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine procedures produce valuable data that can aid medical professionals in more accurately and effectively diagnosing and treating various illnesses. Procedures involving nuclear medicine can be a significant tool in contemporary medicine and are often secure and well-tolerated.



Are there side effects of nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine operations typically result in a reaction at the injection site, such as discomfort, redness, or swelling. After taking a radiopharmaceutical, some individuals may have mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea; however, these symptoms typically go away soon. Rarely, individuals may develop an adverse reaction to the radiation or an allergic reaction to the radiopharmaceutical. Although the likelihood of these adverse effects is often very low, Dr Mthombeni will thoroughly monitor patients throughout and following the treatment to ensure their safety.


How often do I need nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine operations are often only carried out under Dr Mthombeni’s advice.


At what stage of cancer is nuclear medicine needed?

Nuclear medicine may be utilised at various cancer stages depending on the particular objectives of the therapy.

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