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A 45-year-old member asked:

Does cancer usually show up as white or black on an x-ray?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Grey-to-White: When looking at an x-ray, air is black and bone is white and everything else is somewhere in between the two. In general, cancers will look white but so will many, many other things. When looking for a cancer, we are looking at the shape, size, and relationship with adjacent structures. All things considered, it is a lot safer to read a radiologist's report than try and interpret a film.
Dr. Carlo Contreras
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Either: On an x-ray, white means dense tissue (bone, teeth, etc), while dark means tissue with high water or air content (like the air-filled stomach or lungs). So some cancers are white on x-ray, while others are black.

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A 23-year-old male asked:

What do black and white areas show in a X ray?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Andrea Lundell
A Verified Doctoranswered
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X-ray: Simply, the black areas on an x-ray are where relatively higher numbers of x-rays were able to pass through the patient and hit the film and cause it to turn black. The white areas are where something was in front of the x-ray film that stopped the x-rays from reaching the film, like bone or metal.

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Last updated Jul 7, 2017

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