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A 20-year-old male asked:

Is nuclear medicine considered internal radiation therapy? for some reason, it seems like all the definitions of internal radi don't include nuclear.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
Yes: Nuclear Medicine includes tests such as PET and other scans that can assess tumors & evaluate the function of various organs. It also includes giving radioisotopes by mouth or vein for the treatment of certain cancers (most commonly thyroid, lymphoma and bone mets) and hyperthyroidism. This is different than brachytherapy done by Radiation Oncologists in which radioactive seeds are put in a tumor
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Physiologic study: Nuclear medicine involves using internal radiation in order to define function of heart, lungs, bones, liver/spleen, stomach, thyroid gland, lymph system, kidneys, bladder, brain, parathyroid gland and gall bladder. Some isotopes are injected iv, inhaled, and some ingested. Isotopes of higher doses are used to treat thyroid diseases.Amount of irradiation controlled for each ndividual.

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Last updated Jul 25, 2017
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