VITA physicians play an important role in diagnosis and treatment of cancer of most organs in the body, including cancers of the lung, liver, kidney, bone and lymph nodes. First of all, they perform minimally invasive outpatient biopsy for the diagnosis of cancer. For more information, see BIOPSY section (hyperlink).
However, they also play an important role in treatment of cancer, once again using innovative minimally invasive methods, including chemo-embolization, and radiofrequency ablation.
Chemo-embolization is usually performed for the treatment of liver cancer. This can be for either cancer that began in the liver or for cancer that has spread to the liver. This is a procedure where cancer of the liver is targeted by infusing powerful time-release chemotherapy beads directly into the artery that feed the liver and the liver tumors. The beads flow and stick into the tumor, releasing very high doses of chemotherapy into the tumors, without losing much of the chemotherapy into the body. This way, the tumor receives very high, prolonged doses of chemotherapy, but there is very little toxicity in the body. So side effects like losing hair, nausea, and low blood counts are very rare. The two goals of chemo-embolization are to prolong life and to increase the quality of life.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive way of killing tumors in an organ, using a probe that heats the tumor to its death. Using CT or ultrasound as a guide, a small incision is made, a probe is placed into the tumor, and heat is applied to the tumor using radiofrequency waves, similar to microwaves. The advanced technology allows the tumor to be heated to high levels, while the surrounding tissue is unaffected. This technique can be used to treat liver, lung, or kidney tumors.
The last way VITA physicians care for the cancer patient, is by skillful placement of port catheters. Again, minimally invasive techniques are used for the catheter placements, which means no general anesthesia, short recovery times, and accurate placement of the catheter everytime. See section on Port catheters.
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