A 32-year-old female asked:
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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 answers
Dr. Tarek Naguib
39 years experience Nephrology and Dialysis
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.
Answered on Jan 5, 2019
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Dr. Alfred Parkhill Hand
20 years experience Radiology
Possibly: It might, but some tumors are not visible with a non-contrast ct scan.
Answered on Mar 22, 2014
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Dr. Edward Hellman
28 years experience Orthopedic Surgery
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.
Answered on Sep 5, 2020
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8 thanks
Dr. Justin Lo
Dr. Justin Lo answered
20 years experience Pain Management
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.
Answered on Jan 13, 2016
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