The “Pinhole” Cancer Treatment You’ve Probably Never Heard of
Imagine an exquisitely precise cancer therapy procedure done through a small opening in the body that can:
- Kill tumor cells, shrink tumors, or regrow the healthy part of a cancerous organ.
- Deliver chemotherapy or radiation directly to the cancer site.
- Usually be done as an outpatient procedure with fewer side effects than conventional treatments like chemotherapy.
- Potentially treat many types of cancer, either alone or combined with other therapies.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Not necessarily, since this type of therapy, called interventional oncology, is now being performed hundreds of times every day by specialists in a medical field that is unfamiliar to many cancer patients. Many predict this fast-growing specialty will soon join medical, surgical and radiation oncology as the fourth pillar of cancer care.
Pioneers in Precision Medicine
Interventional oncology is an image-guided, minimally invasive surgery done by radiologists that uses imaging scans as maps to identify the location of tumors and blood vessels as pathways to kill tumors or shrink and prepare them for removal. Most procedures are either outpatient or require a brief overnight stay in the hospital. Recovery time is minimal; some patients are active as early as the next day. Plus, there are rarely the physical complications associated with surgery nor the side effects with chemotherapy or external radiation, like hair loss.
Interventional oncology is a subset of the field of interventional radiology and will be the hottest topic at the Society of Interventional Radiology annual meeting in Vancouver next week. It’s also part of a broader healthcare trend called Interventional Medicine, which pinpoints problems inside the body and delivers treatments exactly where they’re needed most with minimal impact on the patient and their quality of life.
More Options for Older and Sicker Patients
Because of advances in medicine and —> Read More