Nuclear medicine is the use of radioactive material to treat diseases and also test the extent to which the disease has spread. Common diseases that are treated using this medication are cancers, endocrine and heart diseases. The use of nuclear medicine has several advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include:

  1. It gives more treatment plans especially for serious illnesses like cancer. Sometimes, this medication proves to be the difference between life and death.
  2. Methods for early disease detection are improved. Due to advancements in this field of medicine, diseases are detected early before becoming serious.
  3. It is accurate, which makes complex treatment procedures safe and simpler for patients.

The major disadvantages of nuclear medicine include:

  1. It is expensive as it requires high expenditure to operate. This is due to the expensive machines used to carry out the treatment process.
  2. There are health risks involved during the process. High exposure to radioactive material can lead to health risks affecting mostly elderly people, pregnant women and young patients.
  3. The treatment process does not guarantee 100% treatment. Although most of the time it will improve the condition of the patient, being treated fully is not always the case.

The health sector provides major types of nuclear medicine. The common ones are:

Brain scan

It involves two processes. First, the patient is injected with an IV. This process takes approximately 30 minutes, and after resting for about one hour, the patient comes back. The second part involves imaging of the brain and is carried out in about 45 minutes.

Bone scan

This test is carried out to test whether there are abnormalities within the joints. It involves the patient being injected with radioactive material and then scanned after two hours. The radioactive substance leaves the body through urine. Plain x-rays of the joints are taken to detect abnormalities.

Gallium scan

This test is carried out to detect tumours. A special camera is used to take pictures. Depending on the patient's medical history, imaging will either take place at 24 or 48 hours after the injection has been administered.

Liver scan

The test is carried out to evaluate the size of the liver including whether it is functioning effectively. After the injection of the radioactive material, liver pictures are taken. The medical practitioner will evaluate the liver further and recommend the appropriate medication.

Nuclear medicine has revolutionized the health sector. For one to choose this kind of medicine, they must consider the overall effects. Will the medicine help or worsen your situation? The decision is up to the patient.