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Medical Chest x-ray?

  1. Nov 27, 2009 #1
    Chest x-ray???

    Not my first post, but had to create another username as I forgot my password and apparently there are not 7 letters in the word "physics"...???

    Anyway, I have smoked about 1/2 pack of cigs a day for about 18 months now. I really regret this, as it was stupid.

    Will an ordinary chest x-ray be able to detect the degree of discoloration in my lungs? I'm just curious how much damage I may have caused.

    Thanks a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2009 #2


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    Re: Chest x-ray???

    Sounds like you'd better go see a doctor if you're worried.
  4. Nov 27, 2009 #3


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    Re: Chest x-ray???

    A chest x-ray will not be able to detect minor things like discoloration of lungs. An x-ray would only detect something of a definitely different texture and radio-opacity than the rest of the lungs, like a tumor.

    Hopefully you do not yet have anything in your lungs that could be detected by x-ray. 18 months is not a very long time to be smoking, so take the realization you've obtained and quit while you can...hopefully that will be enough to prevent you from developing any of the diseases of long-term smoking.
  5. Dec 20, 2009 #4
    Re: Chest x-ray???

    As Moonbear said--no. And you have probably done no permanent damage to your lungs--yet.
  6. Dec 20, 2009 #5
    Re: Chest x-ray???

    just remember that you're doing more than just discoloring the lungs. this was actually one of the more memorable experiences from the anatomy class i just finished. they keep big plastic storage boxes of parts from past cadavers, and one of those boxes is full of lungs. healthy lungs were just like sponges, you could squeeze them down easily and they'd spring right back. smokers' lungs were very stiff from all the tar accumulated. i couldn't squeeze them much at all. and, maybe they're not so stiff when still in a warm, living body, but i can't imagine they'd be easy to breathe with either way.
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