Medical physics

Medical physics (also called health physics) is the scientific discipline whereby the concepts and methodologies of physics are applied to medicine.

Two fields have assumed particular prominence: cancer radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging. Radiotherapy, traditionally based on the use of massive doses of radiation produced by cobalt 60 (cobalt therapy) and X-ray irradiation, has been progressively integrated with the use of dedicated particle accelerators (linear and circular) and, mainly, with Hadrontherapy.

Physical techniques of low-energy irradiation are also used together with sensitizing substances to destroy superficial tumor masses or within cavities. This is photodynamic therapy (PDT, Photo Dynamic Therapy) in which tumor cells are marked with light-sensitizing substances and then destroyed with it. In the field of medical physics, the use of lasers has become increasingly important, for example as a scalpel and, in ophthalmology, for the treatment of the cornea and retina, but also in the treatment of superficial tumors.

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