Can X-rays Detect Tumors

David Lawrence
• Saturday, 07 November, 2020
• 7 min read

When you’re consulting your doctor about your symptoms, they typically conduct a physical exam and require you to undergo diagnostic tests. An X-ray is one of the most common diagnostics tests that physicians use to detect various health problems by generating images of tissues and structures inside the body.

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Nonetheless, conventional and digital X-rays are alike in terms of the internal conditions they can detect. Imaging tests like X-rays give the physician a better view of the state of your joints.

X-rays show bone damage, cartilage loss, and other joint changes that are present in various types of arthritis. Dentists utilize X-rays to detect a host of dental problems, such as impacted wisdom teeth and overcrowding.

To diagnose digestive tract problems, physicians primarily look at your medical history and conduct physical examinations to assess your conditions accurately. However, they can recommend some patients to undergo an extensive diagnostic evaluation through laboratory and imaging tests.

A colorectal transit study is an imaging technique where the patient takes capsules that have small markers visible on the X-ray. X-ray imaging may also use the contrast agent barium to evaluate the organs in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts.

This can detect abnormalities such as obstructions, tumors, ulcers, strictures, and other inflammatory issues. For some conditions, a thorough check of your medical records and a physical examination may be insufficient to give a proper diagnosis.

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At Starling Diagnostics, we have a wide selection of services designed to diagnose and analyze neurological, musculoskeletal, and women’s healthcare issues. X-rays and other radiographic tests help doctors look for cancer in different parts of the body including bones, and organs like the stomach and kidneys.

Contrast studies may require more preparation ahead of time and may cause some discomfort and side effects, depending on what kind you are having. Radiographs, most often called x-rays, produce shadow-like images of bones and certain organs and tissues.

They can show some organs and soft tissues, but MRI and CT scans often give better pictures of them. Another contrast study, an intravenous pyelogram (MVP), uses a special dye to look at the structure and function of the urinary system (ureters, bladder, and kidneys).

For instance, in the past, angiography was often used to help learn the stage or extent of cancer, but now CT and MRI scans are most often used to do this. A special tube inside the x-ray machine sends out a controlled beam of radiation.

Tissues in the body absorb or block the radiation to varying degrees. After passing through the body, the beam hits a piece of film or a special detector.

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Tissues that block high amounts of radiation, such as bone, show up as white areas on a black background. Soft tissues block less radiation and show up in shades of gray.

Other than removing metal objects that might interfere with the picture, no special preparation is needed before having a standard x-ray. Always be sure to tell your health care provider whether you have allergies to iodine or have had problems with contrast materials in the past.

You’ll need to remove jewelry or other objects that might interfere with the image. You’ll be asked to sit, stand, or lie down, depending on the body part to be x-rayed.

The technologist then moves the machine to aim the beam of radiation at the right area. You may have special shields put over parts of your body near the area being x-rayed so that they’re not exposed to the radiation.

Usually the technologist leaves the room to operate the machine by remote control. For a chest x-ray in people who can ’t stand, the film is put under them and the picture is taken from the front.

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You’ll need to hold your breath and lie still while the picture is taken quickly. Contrast studies Angiography: You’ll be asked to not eat before this test.

You will lie still on a table as the skin over the injection site is cleaned and numbed. A tiny cut will be made so the catheter (thin plastic tube) can be put into a blood vessel (usually the artery at the top of the thigh) and slid in until it reaches the area to be studied.

Firm pressure might be needed on the catheter site for a while to make sure it doesn’t bleed. You’ll also need to lie flat and keep your leg still for up to several hours.

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is an MRI study of the blood vessels. Intravenous pyelogram (MVP): You’ll probably be asked not to eat or drink anything for about 12 hours before this test, and you must take laxatives to clean out your bowel.

Another series of x-rays is taken over the next 30 minutes or so to get pictures of the dye as it moves through the kidneys and out of your body. Pressure may be applied to the belly to help make the image clearer.

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(Source: www.hebroncathospital.com)

Once the dye has reached the bladder, you’ll be asked to pass urine while another x-ray is taken. Lower GI series (barium enema): Your diet may be restricted for a few days before this test.

Then liquid barium is put into your bowel through a small, soft tube placed in your rectum. Upper GI series: You will probably be asked to not eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours before this test.

You will lie down and be strapped to a tilting table while a series of x-rays are taken as the barium coats your esophagus and stomach. You’ll need to swallow the barium mixture a few times during the test.

You might also be asked to swallow baking soda crystals to create gas in your stomach. Venography : As you lie still on a table, the skin over the vein to be used is cleaned and numbed.

The contrast dye is put in to make the veins show up on the x-ray, and a series of x-ray pictures is taken. Extra fluids may be given through the catheter to help wash the dye out of your body.

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Firm pressure may be needed on the site for a while to make sure it doesn’t bleed. The contrast material may cause nausea, vomiting, flushing, itching, or a bitter or salty taste.

In rare cases, people can have a severe allergic reaction to the contrast material that affects their breathing and blood pressure. There’s also a small risk of damage to the blood vessel from the catheter, which could lead to internal bleeding.

A hematoma (a large collection of blood under the skin) may develop where the catheter was put in if pressure is not kept on the site long enough. Intravenous pyelogram (MVP): The contrast dye sometimes causes some people to have flushing, mild itching, or a bitter or salty taste.

In rare cases, people have a severe reaction to the contrast material and need emergency treatment. Lower GI series (barium enema): The test can be uncomfortable.

The barium contrasts material will make your stools a light color for a few days after the test and may cause constipation. Your arm or leg (where the catheter is put in) may feel numb during the test.

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In rare cases, people can have a severe allergic reaction to the contrast material that affects their breathing and blood pressure. There’s also a small risk of damage to the blood vessel from the catheter, which could lead to internal bleeding.

A newer technology, called digital radiology, produces pictures on computer screens rather than on film. The size and contrast of the pictures can be digitally adjusted to make them easier to read, and they can be sent to computers in other medical offices or hospitals.

Without seeing images of the organs and/or tissues in question, your doctor will likely not be able to confidently diagnose your condition and plan your treatment. An X-ray can detect broken bones, tumors, and even an object that is lodged inside the body.

However, this diagnostic tool is often the first imaging procedure recommended to patients who are complaining about pain, because the doctor will want to first quickly rule out a tumor or fracture. At Independent Imaging, we provide advanced digital X-ray services to patients across Palm Beach County.

Our team of radiologists and technicians use only the most innovative GE digital flat-panel detector technology for state-of-the-art image processing. We offer X-ray services in all of our ACR-accredited facilities in Wellington, Lake Worth, Belle Glade, and Royal Palm Beach.

(Source: cbsnews.com)

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