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Cobalt-60 is a radiation source to arrest the development of cancer Essay

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In medicine, Cobalt-60 is used extensively as a radiation source to arrest the development of cancer. This process is called cobalt therapy this is done by directing gamma rays into the area need to kill the tumor tissue. Iodine-131 has proved effective in treating hyperthyroidism which is excessive production of the thyroid hormone made byte thyroid gland, most people with this have an enlarged thyroid gland.
Iodine 131 has a half-life of 8 days and emits beta particles and gamma rays it is used for locating tumors of the brain and of the liver but is mostly used to study the thyroid gland.

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The gamma rays are given off make this extremely useful as it can pick up and anomalous activity in the thyroid gland in recent years the medical industry has gone to Iodine 132 which is a gamma-ray emitter that only has the half-life of 13.2 hours making this much safer.

Radioisotopes are commonly used for tracers in the body, this is most likely because some of the elements concentrate in certain body parts this makes it easy to see if there is any abnormal processes or appearance. The reason that they can be detected is through a Scintillation camera, Scintigraphy scans get their name from the ability of some crystals such as Iodine to scintillate which basically means to emit sparks when exposed to radiation this then comes up on the camera with a detailed showing of the body part that is being examined. The way of getting the sodium iodine that has been doped with iodine 131 is by drinking a solution with it in as most of the iodine would be soaked up by the thyroid gland then emitting the thyroid gland with gamma rays relaying a picture back.

Alpha radiation isn’t very dangerous outside the body because it is unlikely to pass through the skin as it is blocked by paper or anything thicker. Gamma and Beta particles are the most dangerous as they have the ability to pass through many things gamma rays, for one thing, can pass through anything as it is not a particle but a ray of energy Lead dampens the effect of gamma rays, beta particles can pass through skin but cannot pass through an aluminium plate.

The dangers of Alpha particles don’t have the ability to penetrate the skin but when in the body it can do a major amount of damage as once it is in the body it can’t get out all this usually leads to lung cancer. Beta particles are very small 8,000 times smaller than an Alpha particle this is what makes them so dangerous as it allows penetration of the skin causing burns and tissue damage which can lead to cancer as it can affect the DNA of the body internal exposure causes very extreme effects of the external conditions. Gamma Rays are the most ionizing of the types of radiations the high energy photons can pass through most forms of matter as they have no mass, meaning it can pass straight through your body causing widespread damage leading to cancer most likely of any sort.

There are some main principles you have to look at when looking at precautions one of them being general health and safety, there are many generic hazards in examinations and experiments that there are bound to be some natural hazards that you can’t avoid be can prevent on becoming a danger. Next would be health and safety legislations which are dictated by the government and will affect how you work in certain spaces and areas, for a good set there should always be a risk assessment for the location/area you are working in which identifies the what and how many hazards there are and that will tell you how to prevent these hazards from becoming dangerous or minimising the danger, for example if you are working with harsh chemicals such as chemicals that are toxic to the environment that is the hazard and a way to prevent these from becoming dangerous you would make sure to handle the chemicals in the right way. Also, regular reviews on the health and safety should be made to make sure that the risk assessment is kept up to date with legislation. The reason for these precautions put in place is that it prevents injury from occurring this protects the workers of the area and makes sure that there are no major hazards from stopping people to work, another need for precautions is like the need for laws it keeps people in line and keeps people on what they should and shouldn’t do.

One method of radiotherapy is external beam radiation which use an external high energy radio beams directed on to the tissue affected also means that they can get deep where the cancer is with newer designs of these machines some can stop some of the side effects from treatment also one other thing that helps with better equipment also means more accurate treatment. This technique is used to treat for example brain tumors, head and neck cancer and prostate cancer. The actual equipment used in this treatment is a linear accelerator or cobalt machines more commonly linear accelerator which is used to emit the radiation, the radiation therapist uses imaging to line the accelerator at cancer to make sure it is accurate.

Radioactive iodine can be used to treat goiter; this is because how iodine reacts with the thyroid gland how the treatment works is that you ingest iodine orally which then reaches the gland through the bloodstream which in turn destroys the thyroid cells. After the size of the goiter is drastically decreased this can also cause an underactive thyroid glandTechnetium-99m emits gamma rays making it really good at destroying cancer cells accurately being a gamma ray means it cannot get blocked by your body and will allow the gamma ray to pass through cancer in your body. It has a low half-life of 6 hours eliminating from the body very quickly. It is also a single energy and has no beta particle connected to is making it safer for the patient, the low gamma ray energy it emits can be easily picked up by a gamma camera. Also, way Technetium is it is very versatile being able to be used as a tracer in many biologically-active substances to ensure it is concentrated in the area needed.

With Technetium-99m one of its main properties is that you can put the radioisotope in many biologically- active substances meaning you can target specific areas of the body without harming any of the body you where the cancer is not. Using it in one specific area would show the extent of this damage and from there could tell the doctor how to move forward with treatment.

There are some main principles you have to look at when looking at precautions one of them being general health and safety, there are many generic hazards in examinations and experiments that there are bound to be some natural hazards that you can’t avoid be can prevent on becoming a danger. Next would be health and safety legislations which are dictated by the government and will affect how you work in certain spaces and areas, for a good set there should always be a risk assessment for the location/area you are working in which identifies the what and how many hazards there are and that will tell you how to prevent these hazards from becoming dangerous or minimising the danger, for example if you are working with harsh chemicals such as chemicals that are toxic to the environment that is the hazard and a way to prevent these from becoming dangerous you would make sure to handle the chemicals in the right way. Also, regular reviews on the health and safety should be made to make sure that the risk assessment is kept up to date with legislation. The reason for these precautions put in place is that it prevents injury from occurring this protects the workers of the area and makes sure that there are no major hazards from stopping people to work, another need for precautions is like the need for laws it keeps people in line and keeps people on what they should and shouldn’t do.

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