The application of radioactive substances in the treatment of diseases is the medical specialty called nuclear medicine. Either chemical a compound is formed from the combination of radionuclide and other elements leading to the formation of radiopharmaceuticals. This gives the nuclear energy the ability to image the degree of spread of the disease in the body based on the cellular functions rather than the changes in the tissue anatomy. Many imaging techniques inject small amounts of radioactive materials into the body, they are then tracked by some sensing device specific to the radiation emitted from that material; it is also used to destroy tissues beyond the reach of surgery techniques (Bailey et al., 2005).
Radiation is an energy type. Radiation can be in natural forms; like the energy emitted by the sun. Other forms include the gamma rays, the x-rays used in nuclear medicine. In the diagnostic procedures of preparing the patients for the nuclear medicine treatment, little amounts of the radiopharmaceuticals are introduced into the patient’s body with the amount chosen to provide the lowest exposure and aiming at the accurate medical evaluation (CHO, 1975). Scintillation camera is used to detect the distribution of the radiopharmaceutical materials in the body by taking the images. A scan called the positron emission tomography then provides a means to study the types for diseases the body might be having (Ter-Pogossian et al., 1975).
Nuclear medicine is used to treat various ailment and health related issues. It can be used to determining the function of various organs, test adequate supply of blood to the heart and the heart’s ability to pump blood, cancer detection at early stages, and also the extent of cancer and the assessment of its response to medicine. It is also used to test abnormal brain lesions without surgical procedures, checking the functioning of the kidneys, lungs and location of bone fractures (Bailey et al., 2005).
PET produces three dimensional picture s of the body functions in nuclear medicine. It detects gamma rays indirectly emitted by a positron emitting radionuclide introduced into the body of a molecule. However, PET is also used to image the tissue concentration of any other type. This tracer can also be used to explore cancer metastasis. PET is also used alongside CT and MRI to give the anatomic and metabolic information (Ter-Pogossian et al., 1975).