Last modification: 2024/01/15

This is a glossary of a number of special words and medical terms used by this information service.

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X-ray examination
imaging procedure that uses X-rays to visualize organs or parts of organs

high-energy electromagnetic radiation, discovered by W. C. Röntgen in 1895; X-rays can partially penetrate matter, so that insights into the interior of the human body are possible, among other things. Since X-rays have an ionising effect (ionising rays), they can also change matter, e.g. damage cells and possibly cause cancer. In diagnostics, X-rays are used to examine certain parts of the body. Depending on the type of irradiated tissue, the radiation is intercepted (absorbed) to varying degrees and displayed on a film plate as a two-dimensional image. Since every X-ray examination is associated with a certain amount of radiation, particularly sensitive parts of the body (such as gonads) must be protected. In the context of X-ray therapy (e.g. radiotherapy), very high-energy X-rays are used to kill tumour cells.