A type of radiation used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases. In low doses, x-rays are used to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body.
X-rays can be used to examine most areas of the body. They’re mainly used to look at the bones and joints, although they’re sometimes used to detect problems affecting soft tissue, such as internal organs.
Problems that may be detected during an X-ray and need further investigation, include:
-bone fractures and breaks
-tooth problems, such as loose teeth and dental abscesses
-scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
-non-cancerous and cancerous bone tumours
-lung problems, such as pneumonia and lung cancer
-dysphagia (swallowing problems)
-heart problems, such as heart failure
X-rays can also be used to guide doctors or surgeons during certain procedures.