Cancer treatment procedures
Minimally invasive cancer treatments / Interventional Oncology
Interventional oncology is rapidly expanding field in management of patients with cancer. It involves different minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. One of the commonest cancers for which these treatments are effective is in treating liver cancer. Other areas include kidney, adrenal, metastatic lung and bone cancers.
These procedures include
Venous access: central line insertion; portacath insertion
Biopsy : under CT and US guidance
Organ ablation: radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation, cryoablation
Trans-arterial embolization: chemoembolization, DC beads chemoembolization, bland embolization
Radioembolization: selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT)
Pain alleviation procedures
Why are these treatments required?
These treatments replace or are complementary to existing treatment modalities to treat cancers. As an example, a significant number of patients with liver cancer have disease which is not suitable for surgery at initial presentation. These can be reduced in size with minimally invasive treatments to enable surgery at a later stage. In some patients, these treatments are performed as primary means of therapy to treat the cancer. It is estimated that up to 80% patients with liver cancers are not suitable for open surgical resection at time of initial presentation. These interventional procedures are primary initial treatment options for managing these patients
How does the treatment take place?
Most of these procedures involve staying in the hospital for a day or two. Some blood tests are done before to ensure it is safe to carry on with the treatment. Antibiotics and other drugs are given to prepare for procedure to prevent complications such as infection. There are no major incisions involved. The treatments are done under deep sedation or general anesthesia.
Which option is best for me?
These depend on the underlying type and stage of cancer. This is decided after review of the overall condition and findings on scans.