Over the last several decades, the medical field has utilized diagnostic equipment such as medical imaging in order identify and then subsequently diagnose diseases or ailments occurring within the body. The images captured on screen or film has led to not only early diagnosis, but more importantly, early treatment for the affected patient. Below are several terms to familiarize oneself with in order to understand the field of medical imaging.
Radiology - Radiology is the use of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. In radiology, a radiologic technician, or technologist, is highly skilled not only in the field of X-Rays, but also in other diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, CAT scans, and MRI imaging systems just to name a few. Though they can provide the imaging service to the patient, they are usually not physicians and therefore, cannot diagnose ailments.
MRI - MRI is an acronym for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This piece of diagnostic equipment takes detailed digital pictures of internal structures in order to better identify a physical issue or challenge within the body.
CAT - CAT is an acronym for Computed Axial Tomography. Here, a multitude of two dimensional images are taken in series on a single axis of rotation which produces a three dimensional scan of the body part or object. CAT or CT scanning of the head has led the way in the diagnosis of tumors and other health related issues within the brain.
Mammogram - Mammography uses low level x-rays in order to detect the presence of tumors or masses within the breast. Mammograms are the leading imaging service that provides women and men with a tool that can detect breast cancer at its earliest stage.
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Medical imaging services provide all sorts of scans and digital photos for medical patients. This is a process that requires specific x-ray equipment, diagnostic machines, and screening devices. For instance, and MRI scan provides magnetic resonance imaging, which is useful when scanning organs in the body. The radiology department of hospitals and clinics commonly use imaging devices daily. Typically a technician that specializes in x-rays or MRI scans needs to assist the patient.
Digital images and pictures are important for seeing what is going on internally. This is why medical imaging services are readily available all over the United States. For instance, an ultrasound is typically performed when a woman is pregnant. This allows the technician or doctor to get a good look at the unborn baby. CT scans and PET imaging is also common in the medical field. While a CT scan is also known as a CAT scan, a PET scan measures body functions like blood flow and oxygen use. Many of these imaging devices are used on cancer patients and those suffering from brain abnormalities or problems. There are medical centers that specialize in radiology and patient screening processes. While some provide diagnostics and imaging for mammograms, others have equipment suitable for MRIs and CT scans.
If you would like to know more about this diverse and advanced branch of medicine, you should make inquiries to your family doctor. He or she can likely fill you in on various aspects of medical imaging. These services are often necessary for various health conditions.