We live in an era where diseases are difficult to manage in a silo. This is especially true of cancer where expertise from multiple disciplines of medicine is required to provide the best possible therapy, outcome and ultimately care to each patient. We recognize at USA Oncology Centers that being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming which is why we will ensure that patients receive the optimal treatment option for the best possible outcome.
Patients will be discussed in tumor boards to ensure that all therapeutic options are considered, not just those that we offer at our centers. Once a decision regarding a certain treatment has been reached, we will communicate with the patient (and his or her family) to explain various treatment options and answer any questions. We are committed to our patients and will remain at their side throughout the care they receive.
Our approach incorporates evidence-based medicine to treat cancer patients, manage treatment-related side effects, and more importantly always be available to support our patients during this difficult, often confusing and anxiety provoking journey, so that they can focus on trying to live well with a preserved quality of life.
Ablation Therapy is a minimally invasive treatment option that is used to destroy tumors by applying thermal energy either in the form of extreme heat or cold directly to the tumor.
These procedures are typically performed under ultrasound, MRI or computed tomography (CT) guidance whereby a needle is inserted through the skin under direct visualization in order to burn or freeze the tumor. Because of the sophistication of the imaging equipment used for guidance, precise targeting of the tumor is guaranteed. As with the intraarterial therapies, the healthy tissue is left untouched thereby minimizing or even eliminating any toxic side effects.
Non-surgical image-guided ablation therapy is often used as a treatment for:
- Liver cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
Benefits of Ablation Therapy
Ablation therapy offers several advantages to patients with certain types of cancer. It destroys small tumors (usually less than 3 cm in size) without the need for surgery and in that context, does have has an extremely high rate of success. In fact, ablation therapy has been included in all treatment guidelines – based on extensive clinical research that provided the highest level of scientific evidence – for patients who present with small tumors (again less than 3 cm in size and typically less than 3 in number).
Other benefits of Ablation Treatment include no hospital stay and a much faster recovery when compared with surgery. Besides offering patients an effective treatment to control the spread of cancer, this minimally-invasive technique is typically performed on an outpatient basis, is not painful and can be used in combination with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or other drug therapies.
Ablation may also be repeated to treat a tumor that has recurred or has been incompletely killed or destroyed. Finally, by killing the tumor, ablation therapy can also provide significant pain relief to the patient.
Who is a Candidate for this Treatment?
Ablation is typically considered an effective treatment option for individuals who are not good candidates for surgery because of their overall health, co-morbidities (other conditions) and have a fairly small tumor burden as explained above (less than 3 cm tumor size and less than 3 tumors) presence of many small tumors. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you and your medical team to determine whether you would benefit from ablation therapy to treat your cancer.
What to Expect During Treatment
Most patients undergo ablation therapy without anesthesia. Patients receive specific pre-procedure instructions to prepare for the procedure. You may be given medications to ease the pain and make you a little drowsy, but you will remain awake. The area where the needle is to be inserted will be numbed with a local anesthetic.
Using image guidance, a thin, needle-like probe is inserted through the skin into the tumor. Once the probe is in place, energy is applied. At the end of the procedure, the probe is removed, and a small dressing will be applied.
The procedure will last about 30-60 minutes and you will be able to return home. You should be able to resume your normal activities within a few days.
Helping our patients get the comprehensive care they need to live happy, healthy lives is our top priority at USA Oncology Centers.
Call us at 855.870.4747 if you want to learn more about us or if you want to learn more about our locations, physicians, or insurance coverage. We always do our best to work with your insurance provider to maximize your coverage.
Scheduling an initial consultation at one of our oncology centers is quick and easy. If you’ve already be diagnosed, we encourage you to schedule a visit with us as soon as possible. Concerned about your personal health and safety? We certainly understand and also offer the opportunity to conduct your appointment through telemedicine. Contact us at 855.870.4747.
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We believe that the patient-doctor relationship is at the core of medicine. We’re here to help you through your cancer journey - emotionally, physically and financially.Schedule Online