Nuclear Medicine

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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine has been around for more than 50 years now and stems from the discovery of x-rays and artificial radioactivity. In 1946, nuclear medicine made a monumental breakthrough when radioactive iodine led to the complete disappearance of cancer in a patient’s thyroid. Nuclear medicine became widely used in the 1950’s to measure the function of the thyroid, to diagnose thyroid disease, and for the treatment of patients with hyperthyroidism. By the 1970’s nuclear medicine was used to visualize other organs of the body other than the thyroid such as scanning of the liver and spleen, localizing brain tumors, and images of the gastrointestinal track. The use of digital computers and detection of heart disease arose in
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This table shows the common risks that people face in everyday life compared to that individual dying from taking that risk. These figures were taken from "Living with Risk", published by the British Medical Association, 1987.
ACTIVITY RISK OF AN INDIVIDUAL DYING IN ANY ONE YEAR
Smoking 10 cigarettes a day 1 in 200
Influenza 1 in 500
Natural causes, 40 years old 1 in 850
Road Accident 1 in 8,000
Playing Soccer 1 in 25,000
Accident at Home 1 in 26,000
Accident at Work 1 in 43,500
Hit by Lightning 1 in 10,000,000
Release of radiation from a nearby Power Station 1 in 10,000,000
Radiation Exposure at the rate of: * Theoretical worst case figures *
5 mSv per year 1 in 16,000
50 mSv per year 1 in 1,600
OCCUPATION
Deep Sea Fishing (sea accidents before 1970) 1 in 360
Offshore Oil and Gas Industry 1 in 600
Quarrying 1 in 3,000
Coal Mining 1 in 5,000
Railways 1 in 6,000
Construction Industry 1 in 7,000
Agriculture 1 in 9,000
Chemical and Allied Industries 1 in 12,000
Motor Vehicle manufacture 1 in 70,000
Clothing and Footwear manufacture 1 in 200,000
Timber and Furniture manufacture 1 in 250,000

(http://www.petnm.unimelb.edu.au/nucmed/detail/risks.html) “A millisievert (mSV) is a unit of measure that allows for some comparison between radiation sources that expose the entire body (such as natural background radiation) and those that only expose a portion of the body (such as radiographs).”
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