Digital X-Rays and False Positives

Digital X-Rays and False Positives

by Stephanie Meadows

While diagnostic imaging is ultimately the best way to see what’s going on inside the body, there is still a possibility that these tests can create false positive results for patients. Both diagnostic tests (X-rays, MRI’s) and screening tests (Mammograms) are necessary when checking for cancer, but sometimes it can be said that they see too much. It is said that tests and early treatment can help with early detection and allow a person to get the proper form of treatment. However, as it turns out, imaging scans such as digital x-rays may result in a false positive result, where imaging results look like cancer, but may not be at all.

For example, false positives cause unnecessary psychological stress for patients. This misdiagnosis called a false positive, can lead a patient to receive additional testing, which may include invasive procedures such as biopsies. This can come with added risks and increased costs, when during all this, it is revealed there are no abnormalities present after all. False positives are a very common occurrence with cancer screenings.

False positives resulting from diagnostic testing is dangerous, as it can cause further scrutiny. However, it is important to note that digital x-rays are beneficial as they produce less radiation, have good image quality, and are more portable. The better image quality on modern digital X-rays reduces the risk of false positives in testing. The turnaround time for results is much quicker, as well, so further testing can be done to get a better idea about results.

Often with other tests, the image quality isn’t the best, and something on the patient’s body is picked up and flagged as abnormal, when in fact there was no cause for concern. This is particularly dangerous for cancer patients, or others, as this can make the doctor give an inaccurate diagnosis. The whole purpose of these tests is to give an accurate diagnosis. If these tests result in false positives, the whole healthcare system becomes compromised.

At Independent Imaging in Wellington. FL, we use digital flat panel detector technology to provide state-of-the-art image processing and high quality digital images. This will eliminate any chance for misdiagnosis and false positives.

To learn more about digital X-rays and other types of diagnostic imaging, call Independent Imaging in Wellington, FL at (561) 795-5558 to request an appointment, or request one online.