X-rays are forms of electromagnetic radiation called photons. Because X-rays can penetrate human body to produce image of the anatomy and pathological changes, they are particularly useful for medical imaging.
X-rays are useful in detecting skeletal system and soft tissues pathologies. For example, chest X-ray can be used to identify lung diseases such as pneumonia, lung cancer or pulmonary edema. Abdominal X-ray can detect intestinal obstruction.
The effective doses of the majority of X-ray examinations are very low. In general, the benefits of the X-ray examination far outweigh the associated risks if performed properly.
In some kind of X-ray procedures, it requires contrast medium injection. Generally speaking, contrast medium is a safe drug. However, side effects may occasionally occur.