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During a nuclear medicine procedure, a radioactive material called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer is injected into the bloodstream, swallowed or inhaled as a gas by the patient. This radioactive material accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off a small amount of energy in the form of gamma rays. Special cameras detect this energy and create computer images of the structure and function of organs and tissues in your body.
Nuclear medicine also offers therapeutic procedures. They include radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy that use small amounts of radioactive material to treat cancer and other medical conditions as well as treatments for other cancers and medical conditions.
Prepare for Your Nuclear Medicine Exam