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Minimally Invasive Treatments Help Cancer Patients Extend life and Improve Quality of Life December 11, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Cancer, Research.
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Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die and new cells take their place. Sometimes this orderly process goes awry–that is, new cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue, or tumor. Cancerous tumors are abnormal and divide without control or order.

The lung is the most common site for primary cancer worldwide, and smoking tobacco is the leading risk factor. The lung is also a common site of metastases for various malignancies. Metastases occur when a single tumor cell or clump of cells gain access to the blood stream or lymphatic system, travel to a new organ such as the lung, begin to multiply, and then regrow their vascular structure to obtain food.

Interventional radiologists can deliver treatments for lung cancer directly to the cancer without significant side effects or damage to nearby normal tissue. There are two main methods by which interventional radiologists can treat cancer. The first is to use the vascular system to deliver chemotherapy medicine directly to the cancer’s vascular supply. This limits damage and toxicity to the rest of the body while delivering the highest dose of the chemotherapy to the cancer. The second method interventional radiologists use to treat cancer is to “cook” or “freeze” the cancer by sticking a small, energy-delivering needle directly into the cancer that heats or freezes the cancer without significant damage to nearby normal tissue. Since these techniques are delivered at the cancer specifically, patients have fewer overall side effects making this especially useful in patients with other significant medical problems. According to the National Cancer Institute, “targeted cancer therapies will give doctors a better way to tailor cancer treatment.” Read More…

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