SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND MEDICAL IMAGING
The Physics and Biology teachers of Terminales S, Mornant, organized two scientific presentations on sustainable development and medical imaging on the 3rd of March 2015.This report has been written by the students of the European Section of this class.
A more than thought complexdefinition
The speakerreminded us of the definition of sustainable development which is development that meets today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
He gave us some figures: in 1950, there were 2.5 billion human beings on earth. Today, there are more than 7.2 billion people on earth, so the consumption of energy resources has increased significantly.
What about these resources today?According to studies, as it is, we have enough coal to meet 200 years of global production, 60 years concerning natural gases, and 40 years as far as oil is concerned.
It seems enough for our needs but it’s necessary to find other ways to produce energy for future generations.
We were far from thinking that sustainable development was not only about the environment but also about economic and social matters:
Preserve quality of water, air, soil
Preserve the diversity
Preserve natural resources
Access to electricity
Trust between producers and consumers
Access to electricity
The two types of medical imaging
Dr Claude Soler, a radiologist and specialist in nuclear medicine, works in a private hospital in the Loire valley, near Lyon (France). To begin with, he told us about the different medical imaging techniques used in a hospital. Medical imaging is the process of creating visual representations of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention.
There are two types of medical imaging: morphologic and nuclear imaging. Contrary to nuclear imaging, morphologic imaging gives precise images of organs but it is impossible to detect the accurate area of the disease. On the contrary nuclear imaging is a process which consists in injecting a radioactive substance in the organ which seems pathologic. The spreading of the liquid reveals a possible anomaly. Then he presented different forms of nuclear imaging and particularly scintigraphy wherein radioisotopes are taken internally and the emitted radiation is captured by gamma cameras to form two-dimensional images. For example, scintigraphy is used to detect heart diseases. He first compared the heart activity of a subject in a state of stress and after physical activity.
In the clinic, they are also used to working with other types of medical imaging such as scanners or MRI. However the medical team works a lot with medical hybrid imaging which combines the image of organs and the image of anomalies. It enables doctors to see the precise location of an anomaly.
The role of the radiologist in disease detection
The radiologist explained his role in the hospital and how he detects cancer. He told us that there are two cancer types. First there are solid cancers (due to physically solid tumors) such as sarcomas, melanomas and carcinomas, and then what Doctor Soler calls liquid cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas. In such cases, cancer cells are in contact with blood and lymph.
He’s more focused on prostate cancer but during the conference he spoke a lot about breast cancer. The diagnosis is crucial to detect cancer as there are two types of tumors. Indeed, most cases of breast tumors are named mastoses and are benign, that is to say easy to cure and not harmful for the body, but some others are malignant. The role of the radiologist is all the more important as he can make the difference between the two types of tumors. As a matter of fact, each type has its specific shape: contrary to the benign one which has a round and homogenous shape, the malignant one is spiny and heterogeneous, as it can be seen in the X-Ray picture of a patient with breast cancer.
Besides he insisted a lot on lung cancer which is caused by tobacco most of the time. This cancer type is really devastating because it can quickly spread to other areas of the body (metastases). The cancer then becomes generalized and it usually causes death. This figure of lung cancer shows that it starts with a cancerous mass, that is to say a tumor which is connected to lymph node that makes the cancer spread throughout the entire body.
DrSoler works in association with surgeons: he detects tumors which are removed by surgeons. As we said previously, a radiologist has an important role to play in the detection of cancer and other diseases. Detection techniques have evolved a lot and liquid cancers such as childhood leukemias are now almost cured in 99% of cases.
Aricle written by Pauline Barbier, MaélineBardier, Lucas Bohnenkamp, Victor Bibollet, ClémentineDeroo, SidonieDozoul, Marine Jarniat, Sylvain Malfettes, Camille Morillon, Alexandre Onfray, Constance Peronneau, Marie Sonnery and reviewed by S. Dermer and M. Boussekey.
Conference organized by S. Ménard, L. Degorre, C. Musseleck and M. Boussekey.