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Man having neck cancer treated by radium therapy

Man having neck cancer treated by radium therapy

N060/0043

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Radium therapy. Man with neck cancer receiving radiotherapy treatment from a Sluys and Kessler radium "bomb" designed in Belgium in 1925. This bomb produced radiation from 13 radium sources mounted on a metal hemisphere placed close to the patient's skin. The sources were held inside lead casing to stop radiation leakage. Each source focused on the cancer from a different angle, so that this was the only tissue that received radiation from all 13. In radiotherapy, ionising radiation is targeted on cancerous tissue, destroying the cells or stopping further cancer development. Radium was discovered by the French scientists Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898.

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