Roughly seven out of every ten Americans will get an X-ray of some sort over the calendar year. This test helps a physician to determine what might be going on in your body medically and provide a roadmap for a course of treatment. In fact, in some cases, the information derived from an X-ray can be lifesaving, particularly if the disease or condition is life threatening because of its very existence. However, X-rays are not always a necessary tool and the radiation exposure can be harmful. Therefore, it is a process about which it pays to be knowledgeable, so that you can make the most informed decision with your family physician about whether or not you really need one and what you can expect from the results.
It should be noted that the radiation received from an X-ray is minimal, but it is always good to minimize your risk to adverse effects when possible. Additionally, because of the high cost of these types of diagnostic tests, it pays to be knowledgeable about them, so that you can work with your family physician to determine how much you really need them. With the right family physician in Phoenix, such as Family Practice Specialists, it’s encouraging to know that these types of tests are only performed when absolutely needed. Consider a few things worth knowing about X-rays:
- Always ask about how it might help your condition: For instance, if your doctor doesn’t quite know why you are having the symptoms you are having, ask him specifically what he/she is looking for on an X-ray that will help him figure it out and determine the best way to treat you.
- Don’t deny an X-ray if your doctor is adamant you need it: This can be the worst decision you can make. If your doctor is determined to get you X-rayed, then he or she has a reason and you might want to take heed and get seen as soon as possible. The risk of not doing so is far greater than any reason why you would not want to get the diagnostic test.
- Conversely, don’t insist on an X-ray if you don’t really need it: For instance, if your symptoms don’t even closely correspond with any disease or condition that requires X-ray testing, don’t insist on it anyway. If nothing else, you are spending your healthcare dollars unwisely for something you don’t need.
- Make sure to tell the doctor and/or X-ray tech if you are pregnant or if you even think you might be: The radiation from an X-ray can be harmful to your newborn baby, despite the very minute amount. You may need to wear a shield of some sort when getting an X-ray if you are pregnant or may be.
- Maintain a record of X-rays you’ve had on a piece of paper or card: This information is helpful throughout your life as doctors can always tell what you’ve had X-rayed and what areas of the body have not been seen on this type of diagnostic exam. It may help when a doctor is assessing your medical history or when determining a course of treatment.
If you ever have any concerns or questions regarding X-rays, don’t hesitate to talk to your FPS physician. With a highly trained medical staff, and X-rays on-site, there is no reason to be worried or feed apprehensive about using such technology.