The nuclear medicine specialty is that which uses small amounts of mildly radioactive compounds to provide the basis for highly informative imaging techniques that are harmless, painless, highly effective, very safe and noninvasive. A medical professional injects a small amount of a gamma – emitting radiopharmaceutical compound into the patient. The technology of the machines used in nuclear medicine service
uses a gamma camera to capture the information provided as the gamma photons escape from the patient’s body. Any of the various types of scanning machines used in nuclear medicine imaging depends on the computers attached to them to integrate the data they collect through the system’s gamma camera
, and then produce an image that can be beneficial to the patient’s physicians.
One of the great values of nuclear medicine service is that it is noninvasive, yet can provide a wealth of information about disease initiation and progression much earlier than is possible using any other type of imaging technique or macro, visual examination possible only through surgery. Even so, even older nuclear medicine scanning machines provide a wealth of information, particularly where cancer is the diagnosis. Nuclear medicine service use is greatly more effective than any type of surgery, and indeed has replaced the old “exploratory” surgery with noninvasive imaging that not only provides information on conditions as they are, but also is useful in predicting the future course of the disease.
What this means for patients is that their identified disease can be discovered earlier, and treated earlier. One of the most critical issues of cancer survival is the stage at which the cancer is discovered, of course. As many types of cancer yield no symptoms at all until they are well entrenched in the body of the patient, the very early detection that nuclear medicine service and various types of scanning machines provides a service at a level on which most would not begin to attempt to assign a reasonable or market price. In practical terms, the nature of the value of nuclear medicine scanning machinery and the information it provides is that it prevents delay, prevents misdiagnosis, and allows physicians to track the effects of the individual patient’s plan of treatment care.