Health Problems Detected By X-Ray
October 8, 2013
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As healthcare technology continues to progress, the medical imaging field has gained importance. The technology has rapidly developed – making x-rays even more important than they were in the past.
Before, it was difficult to determine what was going on inside the human body. Doctors would have to do exploratory surgery to discover the problem before they could treat a patient. This led to longer recovery times, increased pain and high medical bills.
Today, however, doctors can use medical imaging to discover problems. X-rays are non-invasive; they can save doctors and patients time and money.
Opportunities in this field vary, depending on the healthcare facility and the doctor. To give you an idea of how wide the medical imaging field is, we’ve outlined these the health problems that can be detected by x-ray:
1. Chest X-Rays
Medical imaging professionals can use x-rays to scan the chest for a variety of health problems. In fact, the staff at the Mayo Clinic uses chest x-rays to determine:
- The condition of your lungs
- Heart-related lung problems
- The size and outline of your heart
- Blood vessels
- Calcium deposits
- Postoperative changes
- The location of a pacemaker, defibrillator or catheter
These x-rays can lead to the diagnosis of a variety of health-related problems from cancer to heart disease to blood clots.
2. CT Scans
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CT scans work in a similar way as radiography and fluoroscopy procedures: an x-ray beam is passed through a patient’s body. The x-rays are either absorbed or scattered by the internal structures and the remaining x-ray pattern is transmitted to a detector for recording and examining.
Specifically, a CT is used to scan the body. The scans are so detailed that doctors can look at cross-sectional images. These images are essentially “slices” of the internal organs and tissues. This allows doctors to discover health problems such as tumors, blood clots and lesions – even if they are very small.
3. Bone X-Rays
Medical imaging professionals can use x-rays to photograph bones. Doctors can use these images to diagnose broken bones, fractures and sprains. They can also diagnose torn ligaments this way.
Bone x-rays can also be used to diagnose bone cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, x-rays of cancerous bones appear “ragged instead of solid.” It can also appear as a hole in the bone. Doctors can determine whether or not the cancer is malignant simply by reading the x-ray.
They can also use x-rays of the rest of the body or CT scans to see if the cancer has spread.
Radiography basically takes a picture of the internal structure of a muscle or gland. It allows doctors to review and analyze the picture for abnormalities after the procedure is completed.
The most common form of radiography is the mammography. A mammogram allows doctors to x-ray the breast. It takes a picture of the internal structure, allowing doctors to diagnose breast cancer at its earliest stages.
The procedure is most typically performed on women, but it has also been used to diagnose breast cancer in men.
If you’re interested in medical imaging, explore the opportunities available in the field. Learn how you could prepare in a medical imaging program.