What is nuclear medicine?
Nuclear medicine is the practice of placing minute amounts of a radioactive isotope into the patient’s body before conducting scans using specialist equipment. This method can supply additional information for diagnosis that other tests cannot provide.
Nuclear medicine studies show physiological change (changes in the way the body is functioning), whereas other imaging techniques show anatomical change (changes in size, shape, form etc).
Is it safe?
These tests are routine, safe and simple, and have no side-effects, as the amount of radioactive material used is so tiny. This material is usually given via an IV injection, although it can also be swallowed, or inhaled. The material has no effect on a patient’s body.
Nuclear medicine at Cancer Centre London
We offer various nuclear medicine tests with each one following a separate protocol. Your radiographer will explain the procedure before getting started. Generally you will be given a small injection in your arm, similar to a blood test, and images are taken using a special gamma-sensitive camera.
For the majority of the tests, no special preparation is required but there are exceptions and these will be explained to you at the time of booking the appointment.
All procedures are carried out by our team of expert radiographers qualified in nuclear medicine.
How do I get a referral?
If you require a Nuclear Medicine test, your GP or consultant will refer you to CCL, where you will be required to sign a permission form prior to undergoing the procedure. The results are reported by a team of radiologists who specialise in nuclear medicine, and are then typed up and sent to the referring consultant or GP with accompanying images.
Find out more about our Nuclear Medicine service here.