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Isotope shortage means a healthcare crisis

Los Angeles Times, August 10, 2009
The abrupt shutdown of two aging nuclear reactors that produce a radioisotope widely used in medical imaging has forced physicians in the U.S. and abroad into a crisis. The closings requiring them to postpone or cancel necessary scans for heart disease and cancer, or turn to alternative tests that are not as accurate, take longer, and expose patients to higher doses of radiation. Because of limits on testing produced by the shortage, some patients will undergo heart or cancer surgeries that could have been prevented by imaging, and others will miss needed surgeries because of the lack of testing, experts say.