Medical Applications of Nuclear Technology
The exploitation of nuclear technology in medical applications began almost from the moment of Roentgen's discovery of x rays in 1895 and Becquerel's discovery of radioactivity in 1996.J The importance of x rays in medical diagnosis was immediately apparent and. within months of their discovery, the bactericidal action of x rays and their ability to destroy tumors were revealed. Likewise, the effectiveness of the newly discovered radioactive elements of radium and radon in treatment of certain tumors was discovered early and put to use in medical practice. Today, both diagnostic and therapeutic medicine as well as medical research depend critically on many clever and increasingly sophisticated applications of nuclear radiation and radioisotopes.