Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. Nuclear Medicine can be used to cure cancer, lessen the chance it will return, or stop or slow its growth. Nuclear Medicine can be used to shrink tumors that are causing pain and other problems.


Nuclear medicine imaging is a process of producing images by identifying radiation from several regions of the body after a radioactive tracer is given to the patient. The pictures are digitally produced on a computer and transferred to a nuclear medicine physician, who reads the images to make a diagnosis.

Radioactive tracers are commonly used in nuclear medicine that is injected into a vein. The radiation a patient receives in a nuclear medicine scan tends to be very minimal. The key difference between nuclear medicine imaging and other radiology procedure is that it determines how organs functions, whereas other imaging procedure, assess anatomy.

The advantage of nuclear medicine is that it supports physicians to confirm diagnoses and planning treatments for the region of the body being assessed.

Who Needs It?

Nuclear imaging medicine is mainly used to diagnose or treat diseases. Some of the conditions diagnosed by nuclear imaging include:

  • Blood disorders
  • Thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism
  • Heart disease
  • Gallbladder disease.
  • Lung problems
  • Bone problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

Nuclear medicine is also used to treat health conditions or to evaluate how the treatment is working. Radioimmunotherapy is a treatment option that combines radiation and immunotherapy to provide radiation accurately to a targeted region.


Nuclear medicine scans can help doctors clearly identify the tumours and see how far cancer has spread in the body(stages of cancer). It may also be beneficial to determine if a particular treatment is working or not.

Single photon emission computed tomography(SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans are the most common imaging types used in nuclear medicine.

Nuclear imaging is a safe, painless, and cost-effective method of obtaining minute details that may be otherwise unavailable or need a more expensive and riskier test. A distinct feature of nuclear imaging tests is their extreme sensitivity to abnormalities in an organ’s function.

You should not eat or drink after midnight and will be allowed to have a few sips of water only if you have to take medicines. Also, you will be asked to avoid caffeine for 24 hours before the test.

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