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Can you look at your own x ray

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Read Your Low Back X-rays (Know What Your Doctor Knows) - Dr. Alan Mandell, D.C.

X-ray Test

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But since , the number of those tests done each year has grown from fewer than 3 million to more than 80 million. Researchers estimate, in fact, that at least 2 percent of all future cancers in the U. Although the threat is greatest in children, older people face risks, too, and some research suggests that our susceptibility to certain radiation-induced cancer does not diminish as much with age as once thought. The problem : A severe headache may make you worry about a brain tumor, which may make you think you need a CT scan.

Most people who seek medical help for head pain have tension headaches or migraines. Although those can be painful, your doctor should be able to diagnose the problem with a medical history and a neurological exam. That test, which does not expose you to radiation, better detects serious causes of headaches, such as aneurysms and tumors.

Read more on i maging tests for headache, with advice from the American College of Radiology. But because the dosage is cumulative and people get so many of the X-rays over the course of their lives, the potential for damage can build up.

And some X-rays common in dentist offices—like certain panoramic or full-mouth CT scans—use higher doses. When you need X-rays or CT scans: Most people can go 24 to 36 months between bitewings and up to 10 years between full-mouth series.

And 3D dental CT scans are rarely needed, even before orthodontic procedures in children, according to the American Dental Association. The problem: A head injury can be scary, especially in children. And in recent years, people seem to be taking the accidents even more seriously. The number of ER visits for head injuries in young children has almost doubled in the past decade, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But about a third of the scans done as a result are unneeded, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Expect a CT scan only after a car crash, a fall from a bike without a helmet, or other serious accident, or if he or she experiences worrisome symptoms, such as confusion, loss of consciousness, weakness or tingling on one side of the body, or loss of hearing or vision.

To determine the cause, some doctors order CT scans. When you might need a CT scan: Consider one if you have frequent or chronic sinusitis or your doctor thinks surgery may be needed. The problem: Lots of ads pitch CT scans for lung-cancer screening. But research shows that the test is worthwhile only in people with very high lung-cancer risk. Read more about the cancer-screening tests we recommend. When you might need a CT scan: Lung-cancer screening makes sense for current or former smokers between the ages of 55 and 80 who smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years.

Read more about when smokers need to be screened for lung cancer , with advice from the American College of Chest Physicians. And they can prevent breast-cancer deaths. But some doctors recommend them more often than necessary or encourage women to start young.

That can needlessly expose women to radiation and raises the possibility of false alarms, which can cause anxiety and unnecessary treatments. When you need a mammogram: Women 50 to 74 should get screened every two years. Those in their 40s or 75 and older should talk with a doctor to see whether testing makes sense for them based on their risk factors. Read more about our advice on breast cancer screening.

The problem: Doctors can use CT scans to assess your risk of heart disease by measuring the buildup of calcium in your coronary arteries. Or they may look for blocked arteries with a test called CT angiography. Some doctors say the results can help them decide how to treat people at moderate heart-attack risk; for example, whether they should prescribe drugs for borderline high-cholesterol levels. But doctors can usually accomplish the same thing by looking at risk factors such as blood pressure and family history.

And the test exposes you to a lot of radiation. Read more about our advice on how to detect and treat heart disease. When you might need CT angiography: The test may be an option if your doctor strongly suspects a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal event that occurs when a blood clot travels from your legs or elsewhere in your body to your lungs. Read more about when you need imaging tests for heart disease , with advice from the American College of Cardiology.

The problem: Back-pain sufferers often want their doctor to do something, fast. And for many people, that means getting an X-ray or CT scan as soon as possible. But back pain usually stems from muscle strains and usually clears up on its own in about a month.

Getting tested sooner rarely helps doctors decide on how to treat the problem. Read more of advice on how to treat back pain. When you might need an imaging test: Your doctor should order an imaging test right away if he or she suspects nerve damage or a serious problem such as cancer or a spinal infection.

Some red flags include a history of cancer, fever, recent infection, loss of bowel or bladder control, or loss of muscle power or feeling in the legs. Otherwise, resist the urge to take a peek. Read more about when you need imaging tests for back pain , with advice from the American Academy of Family Physicians. The problem: A sharp pain in your abdomen can mean appendicitis. A similar pain in your flank could indicate a kidney stone. Both can be excruciating, and doctors often order CT scans to confirm the diagnosis.

But in both cases, an ultrasound can be an option. When you might need a CT scan: A scan can be used to diagnose possible appendicitis and kidney stones if the ultrasound results are unclear.

But it requires the same pretest prep, and abnormal results must be confirmed by a regular colonoscopy. When you might need CT colonography : The test might make sense if you cannot or will not undergo a colonoscopy. But doctors can often tell how aggressive prostate cancer is by analyzing the biopsy results and looking at the prostate-specific antigen PSA levels in your blood. Read more about our advice on detecting prostate cancer.

Read more about when you need imaging tests for early prostate cancer , with advice from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. But X-rays rarely find serious problems in low-risk people heading to surgery, and a careful medical history and physical exam should be enough. Read more about when you need imaging tests before surgery , with advice from the American College of Radiology.

Why is the test necessary? Ask why the test is being done, how the results will affect your treatment, and what will happen if you skip it. Is there a safer alternative?

Is your doctor credentialed? Also check to see whether the radiology professional, imaging facility, or referring physician has joined efforts to reduce the overuse of medical imaging, such as Image Gently , which focuses on children, and Image Wisely for adults. Has your doctor invested in a CT scanner or radiology clinic? An in-office CT scanner may seem convenient, but it carries an inherent financial conflict of interest.

And studies show that physicians who own scanners use imaging much more than those who refer their patients to out-of-office radiology centers. So ask your doctors whether they are referring you to a machine or an imaging center that they have a financial interest in. The smaller or thinner you are, the lower the radiation dose you need. The circumference of your chest, hip, thigh, or waist can also change the dose.

Do you have a prior scan? If you recently had an X-ray or a CT scan of the same area, ask whether your doctor can use that instead. And ask for CDs of your scans, for future visits. This article also appeared in the March issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

Get Ratings on the go and compare while you shop. Sign In. Become a Member. Remember Me. Not a member? Need further assistance? Please call Member Services at Subscribers only Sign in or Subscribe now! Forgot password? Check this box if you wish to have a copy mailed to you. Photo: Christopher Robbins. Headache The problem : A severe headache may make you worry about a brain tumor, which may make you think you need a CT scan.

Knock on the head The problem: A head injury can be scary, especially in children. Lung-cancer screening The problem: Lots of ads pitch CT scans for lung-cancer screening. Heart-disease screening The problem: Doctors can use CT scans to assess your risk of heart disease by measuring the buildup of calcium in your coronary arteries. Back pain The problem: Back-pain sufferers often want their doctor to do something, fast. Pain in your stomach or side The problem: A sharp pain in your abdomen can mean appendicitis.

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Is a doctor reading your X-rays? Maybe not

But what happens if there is something really wrong with me? In such cases, the patients usually have additional symptoms, such as an inability to urinate or loss of bowel control, a history of cancer, unexplained weight loss or a fever. They normally get better with gentle exercises, over-the-counter pain relievers, a heating pad — and time. So, there really is no need for diagnostic scans in the vast majority of back pain cases, says Dr. Weinerman explains that high-tech scans are so sensitive they sometimes pick up unrelated abnormalities.

Many patients today are able to view parts of their electronic health records EHR online, including radiology reports and images. Online access to health records allows patients to make more informed decisions about their healthcare with their doctors. It also allows them to easily share important health information and test results with other medical providers.

But since , the number of those tests done each year has grown from fewer than 3 million to more than 80 million. Researchers estimate, in fact, that at least 2 percent of all future cancers in the U. Although the threat is greatest in children, older people face risks, too, and some research suggests that our susceptibility to certain radiation-induced cancer does not diminish as much with age as once thought. The problem : A severe headache may make you worry about a brain tumor, which may make you think you need a CT scan. Most people who seek medical help for head pain have tension headaches or migraines.

How CT Scans Produce Cross-Sectional Images

To access personal medical images, please contact the healthcare location's medical imaging department. All Rights Reserved. Who can sign the authorization form? Do I need parental consent if I am a child? What if a patient is incapable of giving consent? How do I obtain a birth certificate or replacement birth records? How do I request copies of records for a deceased patient?

View My X-Rays

Jennifer Drumm had the worst headache of her life. The pain was so severe that as she arrived at the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, an emergency room doctor suspected she had a cerebral hemorrhage, which could quickly turn deadly. He ordered a CT computed tomography scan of Drumm's brain. It was around 6 p.

A health service provider is a person who provides, or claims they are able to provide, a service to a person for the benefit of human health.

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot moves through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a blood vessel in the lungs. Similarly, in a condition called deep vein thrombosis, clots form in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs. A blood clot that breaks free and travels through a blood vessel is called an embolism.

My doctor won’t do an X-ray or scan for my back pain – why not?

X-rays are a type of high-energy radiation. An X-ray machine can produce short bursts of X-rays. The rays pass easily through fluids and soft tissues of the body. However, dense tissue such as bone will block some of the X-rays.

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How to make a subject access request

Robert E. Rockwell , Robert A. Williams , Elizabeth A. Children will gain mastery of the basic science process skills--observation, inference, and prediction--while exploring the first environment they encounter--their very own bodies. This unique book connects literacy to science in the early childhood classroom, and promotes the development of systematic decision-making in young children. He is in demand as a speaker and has traveled and conducted workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Ask your doctor or imaging facility if they use analog X-rays or digital. If you have obtained an injury you feel you can't care for on your own, you should The reason you only see bones when having an X-ray performed is because bones.

Take several to make sure you get at least one or two clear shots. Then make sure the size of the file is not too large to email see below for instructions to compress file. You can also take digital pictures of your X-Ray film by holding the X-Rays up to a white background like a blank Word document. Or place it on top of a glass coffee table with a white background.

Frequently asked questions

There are approximately 25 million entrance and separation x-rays of former military and civilian personnel dating from to the present and 3 to 5 million x-rays for military dependents. Interim x-rays for military personnel taken for injury or sickness stay with the health jacket and are filed with the military personnel records jacket. Once x-rays are stored at the NPRC, they remain the property of the Department of Veterans Affairs, even though they may have been taken at a military base or installation.

How to Obtain and Share Your Medical Images

We are not able to access our offices due to following government guidance around social distancing. All freedom of information requests and data subject access requests should be submitted by email. If you have recently sent one in the post you can resubmit by email. We thank you for your patience and are sure you understand the need to follow government advice.

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Please stop posting your X-rays to social media

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Comments: 1
  1. Sasar

    I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are mistaken. Write to me in PM.

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