Thinking of you and praying for you!!! Gia :)
Cancer has traditionally been approached either systemically with chemotherapy, or locally with surgery or radiotherapy. Recent advancements in minimally-invasive therapies are adding another tool to the anti-cancer arsenal. Thermal ablation is heating tumors so hot that the tumor cells die. It has been studied in many forms, including microwave, laser, high-intensity focused ultrasound, and cryotherapy (freezing below -20 C). Radiofrequency thermal ablation or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has emerged as the most commonly used technology for thermal ablation in the bone, liver, kidney, lung, heart, breast, lymph nodes, nerve ganglia, and soft tissue. Microwave, cryotherapy, and high intensity focused ultrasound devices are available and being studied at the NIH as well. At this time, it is unclear which technology is advantageous in which clinical scenarios.
Recent developments in radiofrequency ablation technology make large-volume tissue ablation (or cooking tumors) effective for local control of some cancer. Local tumor control is an attractive option for some patients who are not ideal surgical candidates, have failed conventional therapies, or have contraindications to surgery or recurrent tumors. Radiofrequency ablation may also expand surgical options. For example, RFA may convert an inoperable patient into a surgical candidate by treating small liver lesions that are too difficult or too spread out to remove with surgery.
Needle-based tissue ablation techniques performed through the skin may provide alternatives to open surgical procedures in certain patients, and may augment conventional therapies.
RFA provides safe and effective local treatment of some cancers, with very small complication rates and survival curves similar to surgery for colorectal carcinoma liver metastases <4 cm, and hepatocellular carcinomas <5 cm. RFA could also impact palliative treatments for incurable disease, and it may allow an increase in the rate of curative liver resection.
How does it work? The patient is made into an electrical circuit by placing grounding pads on the thighs. The procedure may be performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. A 14to 17.5 gauge needle-electrode with an insulated shaft and non-insulated tip, is inserted through the skin with imaging guidance using ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. A treatment session has only 10 to 60 minutes of active ablation or cooking. The energy at the exposed tip causes ionic agitation and frictional heat, which cooks the tumor and leads to cell death and coagulation necrosis, if hot enough (above 50 degrees C). This is gradually replaced by fibrosis and scar tissue. Over the coming months, the treated tissue shrinks in volume. If there is local recurrence, it occurs at the margin, and in some cases may be retreated. The active tip may be different lengths or configurations. The interventionalist uses knowledge of the underlying mechanism of thermal tissue ablation and the specific heat effects upon tissue to accurately predict ablation volume and shape, and to plan for disease-free treatment margins.
RFA is fast, easy, predictable, safe, and relatively cheap. A multidisciplinary team approach is vital to the care of the oncology patient at the National Institutes of Health. Interventional radiologists work closely with oncology and surgical specialists to plan the best treatment for the cancer patient. Ask your physician about treatment options. Have your physician or oncologist contact us directly to see if you might benefit from treatment.
Sorry to hear this. Please know that i will be thinking of you on Wednesday.
Sorry to hear of this. I can't tell you anything from experience .
I do know that radio frequency ablation is used sometimes when it is small. So look into that. No surgery is involved. My father had luck with it with kidney cancer so he didn't have to have surgery. He has been fine for about 3 years now! He had it at UMASS.
Maybe a note to Dr. Goodman about this would be helpful.
Best of luck. Love-Helen
I'm sorry to hear this! Not knowing and facing surgery is so rough. I can't help you with your question but I just want to say that I'll be thinking of you!