So what exactly is radioactivity? If you look up the definition it is defined as “the emission of ionizing radiation or particles caused by the spontaneous disintegration of atomic nuclei.” It was discovered in 1895 by a scientist named Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, on accident when he noticed a fluorescent light coming from a opaque black paper he was using to study cathode rays. Therefore opening the door to radioactive discovery and all the ways in which it could be used to benefit mankind. One benefit in particular is the use of it in medicine.The use of radiation in medicine can be altered in the form of x-rays,which is used to scope the body of any fractures or complications. A more comprehensive use of x-rays known as radiology can be broken down into four specialized fields: mammography, computerized tomography (CT), cardiology and nuclear medicine. In mammography x-ray imaging is used to inspect the breast of any cancer or abnormalities. It can can detect the smallest amount of cancer even before a lump has been detected using low doses of radiation. Three advancements to mammography are digital mammography, computer-aided detection and breast tomosynthesis. In a digital mammography “x-ray film is replaced by electronics that convert x-rays into mammographic pictures of the breast” (Mammogram). In computer-aided detection, digitized mammographic images search for any abnormalities or any indications of cancer in the breast and in breast tomosynthesis it presents a 3-D image of the breast at different angles to give a full outlook of the breast.Computerized Tomography or CT scan for short is the use of x-rays and computer processing to generate cross-sectional images of the body that provide a more detailed view of soft tissues, bones, and internal organs. It also makes it easier for radiologist to identify and diagnose a patient for illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, trauma or musculoskeletal disorders. A great benefit to this use of radiation is that it’s painless, no radiation remains in the body after examination and that it has no immediate side effects. In cardiology, x-ray exams are known as angiograms and during the procedure a person is injected with a non radioactive material into the heart’s arteries so the arteries can be seen by the x rays. It’s used to detect any blockages or narrowed arteries inside the heart. If there is any blockage or narrowing of some kind a person will go under a procedure known as angioplasty to clean it out.Unlike mammography,computerized tomography and cardiology where a person is exposed to radiation from a machine outside the body; when working with nuclear medicine small amounts of radioactive material is used to enter through the body either intravenously, inhaled by gas or by the mouth to determine if any organs are functioning as they should. Through this doctors are able to see the heart’s blood flow and detect coronary artery disease, scan the lungs for any respiratory issues, evaluate the bones for any frantures or infections and evaluate the brain for any tumor recurrences.For the most part the discovery of radioactivity has done wonders in the medical field. It has given doctors a way to not only examine the issues on the outside of the human body it has given them the chance to examine the inside the human body and treat whatever illnesses a person may suffer with. Even though there is always the slightest chance of getting cancer when working with radiation “the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk”(RSNA and ACR).