Nuclear medicine procedures involve the use of small amounts of liquid radioactive substances for
• Imaging and diagnosis of disease. Typically, the small amount of the liquid radioactive substance is injected intravenously (IV; into a vein).
• Treatment of certain diseases. For example, ingestion (drinking) a small amount of radioactive iodine is one of the options for treatment of patients who are hyperthyroid (i.e., have an overactive thyroid gland).
A nuclear medicine physician, a doctor who specializes in the use of liquid radioactive substances for imaging, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, is responsible for the following functions:
• Supervision of nuclear medicine procedures
• Interpreting the results of nuclear medicine procedures for imaging and diagnosis
• Treating patients for any side effects that may occur from nuclear medicine procedures
• Evaluating the results of nuclear medicine therapies