Other applications of nuclear energy: applications in medicine (Part 2) Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy

In this second part we will review the important contribution of ionising radiations in two other medical applications: Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy. Both specialties, as mentioned for Radiodiagnosis in Part I, have experienced a very important advance in their respective contributions in Medicine. The technological contribution, as will be seen from the technical description, the advance in the availability of new radioactive isotopes at low or very low doses in the case of Nuclear Medicine, and the use of radiation of various nature, both electromagnetic and corpuscular, at very high doses in Radiotherapy, have reached a character of essential presence in current Medicine.

Both specialties will be detailed both in their technology and in their various indications, being in the case of Nuclear Medicine of very diverse application, fundamentally diagnostic, but without discarding its therapeutic contribution, among which the diagnosis of frequent thyroid pathologies stands out in Spain and the treatment of thyroid cancer with I-131. Novel contributions include the use of hybrid equipment, as for example the PET-CT in the diagnosis and staging of cancer, or the possible benefit in limited surgeries, as in the case of breast cancer using the sentinel node technique.

Radiotherapy, taking advantage of the technological contribution of the Image, with increasingly precise delimitation of the tumour volume and the use of high energy and greater penetration radiations, permit a dose escalation that allows to speak of curative doses by itself or in collaboration with other oncological therapies. No less than 70% of cancer patients benefit from this technology in constant progression.

A journey inside Vandellós I