What is Nuclear Medicine? What does it do?
Nuclear medicine is a branch of science that deals with the imaging of the predetermined area of ??the body and, when necessary, the destruction of tumor-like formations in the relevant tissue, bone or organ. Nuclear medicine methods providing information about the structure and functionality of organs, bones and tissues are used in the diagnosis and treatment of many important diseases. Low amounts of radioactive material and radiopharmaceuticals are used in nuclear imaging methods. These glows displayed by special cameras connected to the computer provide detailed information about the part of the body being viewed. Many types of cancer, heart health, endocrine, gastrointestinal and neurological disorders, as well as other abnormalities in the body, are diagnosed, severely and treated by administering a small amount of radioactive material to the person to determine the exact location of the molecular activity in the body. Therefore, with nuclear medicine methods, many different diseases can be diagnosed and treated before the symptoms that affect the person appear. In the nuclear medicine department, devices such as PET / CT and SPECT / CT are used.
What is PET / CT?
While PET is a scanning method that enables the body to evaluate the metabolic and physiological aspects, CT enables the determination of anatomical changes in the body. Although PET / CT is mostly used in the diagnosis and staging of cancer or, in other words, determining the prevalence, it allows the determination of the presence of living tissue in the heart muscle of the person who had a heart attack, the detection of epilepsy focus and the detection of diseases such as Alzheimer's at an early stage. In addition to all these, it is also used to diagnose diseases such as fever of unknown cause and to find infection foci. PET / CT provides precise information about where and when the disease occurs. Therefore, the treatment approach may change after PET / CT examination and unnecessary surgical procedures are avoided. In some cases, according to the PET / CT result, it may be decided to remove the tumor by surgery instead of medicated treatment in patients with no spread. PET / CT is also used to monitor the body's response to cancer drugs. Structural change and cellular activity in the relevant region are evaluated numerically.
Which diseases is nuclear medicine used in?
The reason for administering medication to the patient in imaging methods performed by intravenous, injection or oral administration of low radioactive material is that the drug reaches the targeted organ or tissue and shows uptake there. As the drug shows uptake in the area, the tissue or organ is imaged with special cameras. The images transferred to the computer are evaluated by nuclear medicine specialists. Nuclear medicine applications are applied in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. Some of the ailments categorized by department are:
Pulmonary Disorders: It is applied in the diagnosis of blood clot in the lung.
Kidney Diseases: It is used for kidney infections, to investigate the presence of urine leakage in the kidneys and to visualize the obstruction in the urinary tract.
Heart Diseases: In some hypertension cases, it is applied to investigate the cause of the disease, to diagnose coronary artery disease, and to evaluate those treated with bypass surgery.
Neurological Disorders: It is used in the diagnosis of dementia and some paralysis diseases in order to determine the focus of Parkinson's, epilepsy, to evaluate patients who are planned for epilepsy, as well as brain, neck and vascular surgeries.
Oncological Disorders: It is applied for determining the presence and location of the tumor, determining the tumor stage, determining whether the tumor has spread to other tissues and organs, and pain treatment in cancerous bones.
Orthopedic Disorders: It is used to detect hidden fractures and bone infections.
Other Disorders: It is used for the examination of lymph tracts, detection of hidden infection, evaluation of salivary glands as well as goiter, gall bladder, intestinal bleeding, esophagus and stomach diseases.
Please do not neglect to have regular health screenings.
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