U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
Elkins, Arkansas
A 32-year-old female asked:

Had l spine xray and ct scan for kidney stones, all clear. low back pain..would l spine xray have shown lower back tumor? no stones, uti, etc.

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tarek Naguib
Nephrology and Dialysis 40 years experience
No: X-ray does not show soft tissue well. So, if tumor, ct or MRI would be needed to show it. You mention that you have had a ct for stones. Usually this is abdominal ct and pelvic ct. If so, it would show low back. Your doc can tell you how much showed on ct and can discuss whether there is a reason for you to worry about a tumor.
Dr. Alfred Parkhill Hand
Radiology 21 years experience
Possibly: It might, but some tumors are not visible with a non-contrast ct scan.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
No: An x-ray of the lumbar spine would predominantly show only bone. In general, an x-ray is not a very sensitive test to detect the specific cause of back pain in most patients. Consider requesting an MRI which shows the bone, but also shows the nerves, discs, and other soft tissues of the back and is therefore much more sensitive than an x-ray.
Dr. Justin Lo
Pain Management 21 years experience
Not sensitive test: Xray will show large obvious bony masses but this is not asensitive way to evaluate for cancer. Consider a pet scan or MRI depending on symptoms. But before you scare yourself too much, why are you questioning if you have canser. Do you have weight loss, fevers, chills, night sweats, or other symptoms that make yuo think you have cancer? Because of your questions, you need to see your pcp.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Sep 5, 2020

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.