Radioactive Nuclide Half-Lives and Health Effects

Radioactive nuclide half-lives and health effects

Medical imaging uses radioactive nuclides to monitor and diagnose diseases. Radioactive nuclides can be used in medical imaging to make images of the thyroid. This is an essential part of the endocrine systems. Half-life is the time taken for half the initial nuclide to go extinct. In the case of a nuclide with a 12-hour half-life, after 5.0 days, only one-eighth (1/8) of the original amount of the nuclide would remain in the patient (McIver & Hay, 2018). How much radiation is exposed and how long it has been exposure will have a significant impact on your health. The American Thyroid Association (2017, American Thyroid Association) states that iodine131 is a good diagnostic imaging agent and has low long-term risks of cancer. However, the use of iodine-131 in therapy to treat thyroid cancer can lead to an increased risk of secondary cancers (McIver & Hay, 2018).

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