P4 - Treatment

What can radiation emitted fro the nucleus of an unstable atom be?
Alpha, beta or gamma
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What can alpha not do?
Absorbed by skin so if of no use for diagnosis or therapy
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What can beta do?
Passes through skin but no bone. it's medical applications are limited but it is used, for example, to treat the eyes
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What can gamma do?
Very penetrating and is used in medicine. Cobalt-60 is a gamma-emitting radioactive material that is widely used to treat cancers
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What does radiation cause when it passes through a material?
ionisation which damages living cells, increasing the risk of cancer
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What is radiotherapy?
Exposing the affected area of cancer to large amounts of radiation. It destroys them.
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How can materials be made radioactive?
When their nuclei absorbs neutrons in a nuclear reactor
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What happens when x-rays are passed through the body?
The tissues absorb some of this ionising radiation. The amount absorbed depends on the thickness and the density of the absorbing material.
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What do x-rays and gamma rays have in common?
Similar wavelengths but are produced in different ways
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How are x-rays made?
By firing high-speed electrons at metal targets
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What does an x-ray machine allow?
The rate of production and energy of the x-rays to be controlled, but you can't change the gamma radiation emitted from a particular radioactive source
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What happens when the nucleus of an atom of a radioactive substance decays?
It emits an alpha or beta particle and loses any surplus energy by emitting gamma rays
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What is radioactive tracer used for?
To investigate inside a patients body without surgery
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What is the radioactive tracer mixed with?
Food or drink, or it is injected into the body
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How is the progress of it monitored through the body?
Using a detector such as a gamma camera connected to a computer
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What is a radioisotope used for?
To destroy a tumour in the body
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What happens during the process of this?
Three sources of radioaction, each providing one third of the required dose, are arranged around the patient with the tumour at the centre. the healthy tissues only receives one third of the dose, which limits damage to it.
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What other method is there?
Each radiation source is slowly rotated around the patient. The tumour receives constant radiation but healthy tissue receives only intermittent doses.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What can alpha not do?


Absorbed by skin so if of no use for diagnosis or therapy

Card 3


What can beta do?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What can gamma do?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What does radiation cause when it passes through a material?


Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards


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