What is an X-ray? What is X-ray used for?

What is an X-ray?

X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves . X-rays take pictures of the inside of your body. The pictures show different parts of your body in black and white.

This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation.

Bone calcium absorbs most X-rays, so bones look white. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, so it looks gray. The air absorbs the least, so the lungs look black.

When you have an X-ray, you can wear a lead apron to protect certain parts of your body. The amount of radiation you get from an X-ray is less.

For example, a chest X-ray reveals the level of radiation and the amount of radiation you have naturally exposed to the environment within 10 days.

What is X-ray used for?


Patients with a bone injury are usually asked to have an X-ray. X-rays showed the doctor looking at the pictures to understand how the bone was broken.

X-rays can show if the bone has moved away from its original position and if the bone is broken or broken into multiple pieces due to a fracture. Based on the results obtained from X-rays, a doctor can determine how the fracture can be best treated.


Mammography uses X-rays to take pictures of what is inside the breast. It is used to detect abnormal growths so one can be determined if further testing is needed.

Mammograms have greatly reduced breast cancer-related deaths since the 1990s because they are so effective for early diagnosis.

X-ray of the urethra:

IVP or intravenous pylogram X-ray involves injecting a contrasting material into the body before the X-ray to help highlight bladder, ureter, and kidney problems.

IVP X-rays are done when you have blood in your urine or if you have unusual lower abdominal pain.

Radiation therapy:

X-rays play an important role in the fight against cancer, high-energy radiation is used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Patients are treated outside the body (known as external be-beam radiation therapy) or from radioactive material entering the body in the vicinity of cancer cells.

This is called internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy. Radiation therapy can be dangerous, yet it is still accepted by 50% of cancer patients during their treatment.

Airport Security:

Every airport now has X-ray security systems that scan luggage to check for dangerous items. Over the past few years, full body X-ray scans have also emerged as an additional security measure.