X Rays (Encyclopedia of Cancer)
X rays are a type of radiation used in imaging andtherapy that uses short wavelength energy beams capable of penetrating most substances except heavy metals.
Diagnostic x rays are some of the most powerful medical imaging tools available. Other imaging techniques that do not use x rays include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasonography, and radionucleotide imaging. Based on the symptoms presented by the patient, the physician can request specific x rays (such as chest x rays) that help diagnose many types of cancers, including sarcomas, lymphomas, and lung cancers. X rays allow the physician to visualize certain internal body conditions with little or no invasive procedures. Conditions may be visualized on photographic film, or for more complex and detailed information, computed tomography (CT scan), fluroscopy, or angiography might be used.
Before consenting to any x-ray procedure, the patient should consider the impact of existing medical conditions or medications. Sensitivities to contrast dyes may produce allergic reactions. Pregnant women or those who...
(The entire section is 926 words.)
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X Rays (Encyclopedia of Children's Health)
X rays are electromagnetic radiation that differentially penetrates structures within the body and creates images of these structures on photographic film or a fluorescent screen. These images are called diagnostic x rays.
Diagnostic x rays are useful in detecting abnormalities within the body. They are a painless, non-invasive way to help diagnose problems such as broken bones, tumors, dental decay, and the presence of foreign bodies.
X rays are a form of radiation similar to light rays, except that they are more energetic than light rays and are invisible to the human eye. They are created when an electric current is passed through a vacuum tube. X rays were accidentally discovered in 1895 by German physicist Wilhem Roentgen (1845-1923), who was later awarded the first Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery. Roentgen was also a photographer and almost immediately realized that the shadows created when x rays passed through the body could be permanently recorded on photographic plates. His first x-ray picture was of his wife's hand. Within a few years, x rays became a valued diagnostic tool of physicians world-wide....
(The entire section is 1504 words.)