Radiopharmaceuticals are a group of radioactive compounds that are used in medicine to either diagnose or treat disease. But how are they related to breast cancer?
These are the main facts you should know about treating breast cancer with radiopharmaceuticals:
- What are radiopharmaceuticals?: Radiopharmaceuticals are compounds that contain radioactive materials called radioisotopes.
- How are they given to the patient?: Intravenously (IV), orally, or infused into a body cavity in small amounts for diagnostic purposes, and in larger amounts for therapeutic purposes.
- Are radiopharmaceuticals safe?: Even though these agents have radioactive properties, when given in small amounts for diagnostic testing the dose is considered safe.
- How are they used to treat the tumor?: Radiopharmaceuticals used to treat cancer are in the form of alpha and beta particles that target the affected areas of tumor growth and metastasis.
- How do they kill cancer?: The given radioactive agent is taken up in the cancerous tumor and the radioactive toxins are specifically targeted to destroy the affected tissue, and prevent further growth and metastasis.
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