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What does my X-ray report say?

Q: I am a 35 years old female. I do smoke. I just got my X-ray results and following are the results: No active lung pathology; no pleural effusion; minimal hilar shadow; trachea is central; no focal lung lesion confirmed. Could you please interpret the results?

A:Based on the information you have submitted, you seem to be a healthy 36 year old woman with no significant past medical problems except for nicotine abuse and have had a chest X-ray done. It is unclear as to why you had it done in the first place. Without having the benefit of seeing the chest X-ray, all I would be able to tell you from the report is that your lungs look normal on the X-ray but a comment has been made about minimal shadowing in the area between heart and lung (minimal hilar shadow). This could be a normal variant or very occasionally could indicate an abnormality.

Further investigations such as pulmonary function testing and/ or CT scan of the chest could be indicated based on any symptoms that you might be experiencing. However, I would strongly recommend you to talk to your physician about any of your symptoms and he would be in a better position to interpret your chest X- ray and advise you further. I also strongly recommend you to quit smoking in view of its many adverse effects on health including but not limited to cancers (mainly lung cancers), strokes, heart attacks and many more. Quitting smoking has now become much easier with counseling and use of certain medications. Ask your doctor for further advice.

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