Risks and Benefits of Radioactivity Radioactivity is a part of every day, without it life wouldn’t be as it is. It has its benefits but along with the good comes bad. It’s all around us. Radiation is categorized into two groups: ionizing, and non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation consists of particles, gamma rays, or X-rays with sufficient energy to create ionization in the medium it passes through. It has enough energy so that while an interaction with an atom takes place it can withdraw tightly bound electrons from an atom, thus making the atom charged or ionized.
It includes alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. Ionizing radiation has made a large impact on life today. It has made an especially large impact in the medical field. It is used for diagnosis and therapy. X-rays are used to help diagnose disease or damage in the body. Radionuclides may also be injected into patients so that detectors outside the body can be used to observe how organs are functioning. These methods are only used if a diagnosis can’t be made without them and radiation doses are generally low.
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However, higher doses are used to treat malfunctioning organs or malignant diseases. Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control cell growth. Ionizing radiation works by damaging the DNA of exposed tissue leading to cellular death. Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It is often part of the main treatment for some types of cancer, such as cancers of the head and neck, bladder, lung, and Hodgkin disease. Radiation therapy can be rendered to attend to almost any type of cancer anywhere in the body.
It can be supplied throughout any part of the treatment process depending on the distinct disease and aims of treatment. Radiation can be used alone or in combination with other things to treat cancer. It can be used before surgery to condense the cancer to provide for a more whole surgery. It can be used after surgery to treat any lingering microscopic disease. The effects can be enhanced when radiation is given along with chemotherapy. And it can be helpful when given after chemotherapy. There are risks involved though. Normal tissue may be damaged in the rocess of harming cancer cells. This is where most side-effects emerge from. However most side effects are temporary, can be controlled, and generally disappear over time. They include: hair loss, nausea, vomiting etc. Non-ionizing radiation has less energy than ionizing. It tends to come from everyday items such as the microwave, TV, cellphone, and radio. These items have benefited quality of life in an obvious manner. They have made communication easier, entertained us, and generally speaking made life much more accessible.
Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and can pose a considerable health risk to potentially exposed workers if not properly controlled. Radiotherapy is a huge part of life today and is everywhere around us. With safety measures intact it can benefit many lives without much harm done. It is an amazing spectacle that has impacted humans more than we think. It has led to achievements we would not think possible years ago. As with all medicines, it carries its risks, but in most cases the benefits outweigh the risks.