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Almost a century ago, cancer treatments relied on radium for its radiation source. Radium was a rare commodity and was valued at up to $73,000 per gram or over $2 million per ounce. As a result, cancer treatment was confined to those with the wealth to afford it. All isotopes of radium are highly reactive.

Radium, found in uranium, is used in nuclear medicine uses radioactive substances in diagnosis and treatment of disease.