X-Rays: Diagnosing Medical Conditions

When it comes to diagnosing medical conditions, there are few tools as beneficial as the X-ray. Offering a sneak peek inside the human body through the use of electromagnetic energy beams, X-rays are the oldest and most reliable form of medical imaging. From broken bones to cavities, X-rays are an essential part of patient care and treatment.

Broken Bones and Fractures

No matter where in the body the pain exists, X-ray techs can position the person to get just the angle they need to take a look inside. Broken bones are easily diagnosed with X-rays, as well as most fractures.

Breast Cancer

Mammography can be used to detect breast cancer in women. A mammogram is specific type of X-ray used to detect tumors that cannot otherwise be seen or felt. It is recommended that women over the age of 40 and those with a family history of breast cancer get routine mammograms for the sake of early detection.

Dental Caries

Dental X-rays are a routine part of a dental exam, as a means to look for cavities. In addition to cavities and decay, dental radiographs can be used to evaluate gum health and monitor tooth growth.

Blocked Blood Vessels

With the help of iodine, radiologists can detect blockages in the blood vessels. An iodine injection into the blood stream causes a color contrast that makes it easy to detect on X-rays.

Abdominal Distress

Problems in the abdominal area, such as digestion issues, colon polyps and tumors, are just a few of the medical conditions that be found with the use of X-rays. Barium, which works much like the iodine used to locate blockage in blood vessels, is delivered to the system by consumption or enema. Once in the system, it allows radiologists to easily pinpoint problem areas.

With so many medical conditions that can be diagnosed through the use of X-rays, it's easy to see why radiologic technicians are in such high demand. With a national job outlook that is expected to grow 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, it's not too late to go back to school to pursue a career in this multifaceted field.

Photo Source: Flickr

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Tags: healthcare, medical technology, radiology

Melynda Sorrels

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