Medical Radiation And X-rays
An X-ray examination helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. It exposes you to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce images of the inside of the body. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. The calcium in the bones absorbs X-rays more, making the bones look white.
However, if none of them can provide the necessary answers, or if there is an emergency or other time limitation, an X-ray may be an acceptable alternative imaging option. Unnecessary radiation exposure may result from medical imaging procedures that are not medically justified given a patient’s signs and symptoms, or when an alternative test with a lower dose is possible. X-rays should only be performed after careful consideration of the patient’s health needs. They should only be performed when the referring physician deems them necessary to answer a clinical question or to guide the treatment of a disease. The clinical benefit of a medically appropriate X-ray outweighs the small risk of radiation. Ultrasound technology has advanced significantly over the past decade, and sonogram images are now produced at a much higher resolution, creating finely detailed images.
X-ray spectra can be measured by energy scattering or wavelength dispersive spectrometers. For X-ray diffraction applications, such as X-ray crystallography, hybrid photon counting detectors are widely used. Doctors pay special attention during X-ray examinations to use the lowest possible radiation dose and at the same time produce the best images for evaluation. National and international radiation protection organizations are constantly reviewing and updating the technical standards used by radiology professionals.
Edison stopped X-raying around 1903, before the death of Clarence Madison Dally, one of his glassblowers. Dally had a habit of testing X-ray tubes in her own hands, developing cancer so persistent that both arms were amputated in a vain attempt to save her life; in 1904, it became the first known death attributed to X-ray exposure. X-ray photons carry enough energy to ionize x-ray generator atoms and disrupt molecular bonds. This makes it a kind of ionizing radiation and therefore harmful to living tissue. A very high radiation dose for a short period of time causes radiation sickness, while lower doses can increase the risk of radiation-induced cancer. On medical imaging, this increased risk of cancer is usually largely offset by the benefits of the research.
When used correctly, the diagnostic benefits of X-ray scans significantly outweigh the risks. X-rays can diagnose life-threatening conditions, such as blocked blood vessels, bone cancer and infections. However, X-rays produce ionizing radiation, a form of radiation that has the potential to damage living tissue. This is a risk that increases with the number of exposures added over a person’s lifetime. However, the risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure is generally small. There are many types, or modalities, of medical imaging procedures, each of which uses different technologies and techniques.
Your risk of long-term effects of ionizing radiation from X-rays depends on the part of your body being photographed and the amount of radiation exposure, including the total number of medical procedures that use radiation, over time. Very low doses of radiation absorbed during imaging procedures generally do not cause adverse effects, but it is still recommended to reduce doses as much as possible. Very large doses of radiation are used in radiation oncology or therapy to prevent cancer cells from growing. We are all exposed to ionizing radiation from the natural environment every day without any immediate impact on health. Additional exposures, from procedures such as medical imaging, can lead to an increase in our risk of cancer later in life. However, X-rays generally use the least amount of radiation compared to other imaging tests.
Patient awareness and communication are essential for radiation protection. Many experimenters, including Röntgen himself in his original experiments, devised methods of viewing “live” X-ray images using a kind of luminescent view. On February 5, 1896, live imaging devices were developed by both Italian scientist Enrico Salvioni (his “cryptoscope”) and Professor McGie of Princeton University (his “Skiascope”), both using barium platinocyanide. American inventor Thomas Edison began research shortly after Röntgen’s discovery and investigated the ability of materials to fluoresce when exposed to X-rays, finding that calcium state was the most effective substance. In May 1896, he developed the first mass-produced live imaging device, his “Vitascope,” later called the fluoroscope, which became the standard for medical X-ray examinations.