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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Radium therapy. Man with head and neck cancer receiving radiotherapy treatment from a surface plaque, or mould, in the 1920s. The mould, which was placed over the face and neck close to the skin, had several radium sources. Together the sources supplied the whole of the cancerous area with a dose of radiation. This treatment was carried out on cancerous tissue which lay close to or at the surface of the skin. 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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