Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty that takes images showing how organs or systems in your body are functioning. Nuclear Medicine is different from general radiology, which shows how the body looks, not how it is working.
Nuclear Medicine examinations use small amounts of radioactive material, which is either injected or taken orally, to image an area of interest. This substance allows for special gamma cameras to view your organs on a computer to determine how they are actually working.
Nuclear medicine is one of the most widely used methods for detecting early signs of heart, lung, thyroid, bone and kidney disease. Nuclear medicine is also used for detecting infections and small tumors. PET scans, a type of nuclear imaging, are used in initial evaluation and to follow certain cancers as it can often detect tumor before it will show up on CT or MRI.