An x-ray is the result when a type of radiation is used to view inside of an object.Some radiation is able to pass through object. Radiation used in x-rays can go through less dense organs, tissue and clothing. The same radiation does not necessarily go through more dense objects such as bone. Once this radiation passes through the body it comes to meet various x-ray detectors like a film and or other such detectors that are connected to a computer for viewing on the monitor. This gives a picture or image of what is in the body showing the various densities of the various objects, tissues and bones accordingly. This gives physicians the ability to see objects that may be in the body that absorb more radiation such as foreign objects, bones and bone spurs easily pointing out any problem areas.
Types of Procedures
With advances in technology there are a large variety of types of procedures using x-ray’s for results. Some of these procedures are things such as mammography, which is the use of radiation to detect any abnormalities with the breast potentially leading to cancer; CT scans which stands for computed tomography and creates images over the body and that could show anything unusual; x-ray radiography, which is intended for use of detecting pneumonia in the lungs, tumors, any orthopedic damages and even foreign objects; fluoroscopy, which is the in depth use of radiation to search for blocked arteries and to scout out the appropriate locations for stent surgery. These procedures all help physicians to determine if there is a danger within the patient’s body that needs to be addressed immediately. These different types of procedures could help the physician in early detection of multiple types of cancer giving the patient the advantage of early detection.
Dangers and Advantages
While the advances in technology and science have offered individuals the ability to catch problems at onset and offer the possibility of treatment at early detection, there are some risks involved with often x-ray exposure. Though the radiation individuals are exposed to during the x-ray procedures is minimal, it can be harmful to living tissue. Some of the concerns about consistent exposure to radiation through x-rays is potential cancer development, in high doses potential cataracts in some individuals burns on the skin. The more that an individual is exposed to radiation through x-ray procedures the greater the potential risk of cancer. This is especially true for the very young and elderly and therefore radiation exposure through x-ray procedure should be kept to a minimum.
One of the advantages to small level exposure to radiation through x-ray is the ability for a professional to find serious problems that need immediate treatment early on. This could be the difference in saving a patient’s life. Finding the problem as quickly as possible may be the way that your physician sets you on a path to good health. Leaving a potential problem hidden within could lead to serious health issues that may be irreparable after a time.
One way to ensure that you are not being over exposed to radiation through the use of x-ray procedures is by keeping track. Keep good medical records of when you have a procedure that will expose you to any kind of radiation. For individuals who are concerned with being over exposed, certainly speaking with the physician about any available alternative options is one way to avoid over exposure. Always follow the directions of the x-ray technician in charge of taking the x-rays. They will give you shields and protection devices to use during the procedures. Using these devices properly will reduce your risk of being overexposed to radiation unnecessarily. If you are not clear on how to do so, do not hesitate to ask them. If you are pregnant or think you could be pregnant, be sure to inform the technician immediately.
Concerns regarding overexposure to radiation for diagnosis purposes should always be discussed with your physician prior to any x-ray procedure. The physician will be able to inform you of the risks related to the procedure at hand and the advantages of moving forward with the procedure. This will better allow you to decide if the advantages out way any risks before you.