Cancers are one of the main causes of death worldwide.  Their incidence is on the rise, mainly due to an increase in people’s lifespan and changes in lifestyle. The IAEA contributes nuclear techniques to the fight against cancer.

  • Cancer diagnosis frequently requires imaging studies that in many cases use small amounts of radiation. Procedures such as X-rays; computed tomography (CT); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are important in clinical decision-making, including therapy and follow-up.  

  • Cancer is a growing global health and development challenge. Governments are under increased pressure to meet rising demands from cancer patients for a greater number of affordable quality services. The IAEA and a coalition of international partners work to support low- and middle-income Member States respond to this challenge. 

  • Radiotherapy is one of the most widely used therapies for cancer treatment. It consists of using radiation in its different forms (X-rays, Gamma rays, particles) to harm and destroy tumours, either alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. Radiotherapy is either external (teletherapy) or internal (brachytherapy).

  • Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy, by which a radioactive source is placed close to the tumor, either directly adjacent to it or inside the tumor itself. This procedure delivers a high dose of radiation to the target with only a minimal dose affecting the surrounding tissues.

  • Nuclear medicine therapy uses radiopharmaceuticals targeting specific tumours, such as thyroid, lymphomas or bone metastases, delivering radiation to tumorous lesions as part of a therapeutic strategy to cure, mitigate or control the disease. It can be used either on selective targets or throughout the entire body.

  • Radiopharmaceuticals are radioisotopes bound to biological molecules able to target specific organs, tissues or cells within the human body. These radioactive drugs can be used for the diagnosis and, increasingly, for the therapy of diseases.