Nuclear Medicine uses unsealed sources of ionizing radiation for diagnosis and treatment of several oncologic conditions. PET-CT and scintigraphy represent two diagnostic imaging methodologies that are widely used in oncology as they are able to detect tumoral alterations even at a very early stage.
PET-CT, that is one of the most innovative systems in the area of diagnostic imaging, combines the ability to pick up high definition images from CT scan with extremely detailed metabolic information acquired through PET (positron emission tomography). This is extremely helpful to study cancers, especially the most widespread forms or those developing in multiple areas at the same time, such as lymphomas.
Scintigraphy is a diagnostic imaging methodology that is based on administration of radiopharmaceuticals. In oncology, bone scintigraphy is mostly performed as it is helpful to early identify metastatic bone disease. There are also other types of scintigraphy, such as somatostatin receptor scintigraphy that is important for the assessment of endocrine tumors, and thyroid scintigraphy that is very important for the assessment of thyroid conditions, both of inflammatory and nodular and cancerous nature.