What It's Used For
X-rays are used for many purposes, including determining if a bone is broken, seeing whether an internal organ is infected, and looking for cancer. There are many different types of X-rays currently used to detect cancer. For example, both mammography (a series of breast X-rays) and the barium enema (a series of bowel X-rays with contrast medium), are routine procedures sometimes used for cancer screening in adults of certain age groups. To check for tumors in precise cross-sections of the body, a computed tomography (CT) scan also can be used. A CT scan is a series of X-rays linked to computer technology. Even without using specialized techniques, uncomplicated, routine X-rays often can show abnormal shadows or silhouettes that might be cancerous tumors.
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