Oncology experts from the best cancer center in Colorado explain how interventional radiology has changed cancer treatment forever, and improved it.
Cancer is a terrible disease, difficult to treat because tumors can appear in so many different areas of the body. Worse, once tumors are established in one area, they can spread to other areas through metastasis. Effective treatment requires a whole team of specialists to deal with these different types of cancer.
Oncologists, oncology surgeons, radiology doctors, and pain management specialists all work together to preserve their patients' quality of life as they fight the disease. In recent years, among the most important members of any cancer treatment team – especially at the best cancer centers in Colorado – are its interventional radiologists.
How interventional radiology has transformed and improved cancer care
Traditional surgery and systemic chemotherapy still present the best hope for a cure of many types of cancer. But surgery – when it is even possible, because many tumors are inoperable – requires deep incisions, and general anesthesia always introduces an element of risk. Systemic (intravenous) chemotherapy also has a number of undesirable side effects.
Because it is minimally invasive, interventional radiology (IR) avoids these risks. IR specialists access the tumors by inserting a tiny catheter into a vein or artery. They guide the catheter into place using visualization technology, and then use it to treat the cancer directly by applying heat (via radiofrequency or laser energy), chemicals (chemotherapy), or cold (cryotherapy) to the tumors themselves. This precise "targeting" of the cancer limits the effects of the chemotherapy or radiation to the area of the tumor itself, without affecting surrounding tissues.
Additional advantages of interventional radiology in cancer treatment
IR procedures have many advantages for the patients themselves. First, patients can often be treated on an outpatient basis, going home from the hospital the same day or after a single overnight stay. This reduces the cost of treatment. The minimally invasive nature of IR procedures also eliminates the need for the long recovery times associated with invasive surgeries. In addition, because no large incisions are required, patients can often be awake during the procedure and be treated only with local anesthesia and sedatives to help them relax.
Also, when treating cancer in Colorado with IR techniques, reduced recovery time makes it possible to use interventional radiology treatment in conjunction with other more traditional types of treatment. For example, "targeted" IR treatment can shrink large tumors or destroy small ones as a preparation for surgery.
What types of interventional radiology does ECCO specialize in?
One of the reasons that Endovascular Consultants of Colorado is considered the best cancer treatment center in Colorado is the wide range of IR procedures we specialize in. From our state-of-the-art clinic in Lone Tree, we provide the most advanced cancer treatment options in the area.
Please take a look at the Cancer Care section of our website for descriptions of the therapies we offer, and to learn how they may help you or a loved one who is fighting cancer. Look through the profiles we have provided for our ECCO interventional radiology doctors. Or give us a call at 720-250-9799. Our talented interventional oncology specialists are happy to assist you in any way we can.