Visiting The Royal Marsden is suspended

Coronavirus latest: Please kindly note that whilst lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease, visiting is still suspended.  The hospital remains open and we are still delivering treatment to our patients. Please see more information here about how we are keeping everyone safe.


X-rays are used to image the chest, abdomen and all bony structures in the body, and are often used as the first line of diagnosis for common medical conditions. 

X-ray examinations are very quick and entirely painless to have taken. They use ionising radiation - this does not make the patient radioactive.

The X-ray department at The Royal Marsden is entirely digital – all images are taken and viewed on computers. We take X-ray images of all parts of the body as well as undertaking more complex studies of internal organs.

Patients are referred for an X-ray by their Royal Marsden consultant or team, not by their GP. A single X-ray does not require a booking but more complex studies will take longer and therefore need to be pre-arranged.

Types of X-ray examination

Skeletal survey examinations are a series of X-rays of every part of the body, different positions are used to obtain the images.

Contrast studies will take longer than standard X-rays and will involve administering an X-ray dye to enhance the kidneys, stomach or bowel.


For most examinations the only preparation will be changing into a gown, and removing jewellery and clothing with buttons or zips. For some examinations, fasting or bowel preparation may be required – if this is the case, any instructions will be given at the time of booking.

Examination results

The results of the X-rays will be available to you via your Royal Marsden consultant or team at your next clinic appointment. No results will be available at the X-ray appointment itself as they have to be reported by a radiologist first.