Interventional oncology is a number of procedures used to diagnose and treat cancer as well as cancer-related issues. It uses highly targeted and minimally invasive procedures performed under image guidance to enable precise treatment of solid tumors, or neoplasms, throughout various organs and areas in the human body.
Interventional oncology is used to treat solid tumors/neoplastic tissue all over the body, targeting a wide variety of cancers, including liver cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, bone cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer. It can be used to treat both primary cancers as well as metastatic cancers, and is often used in a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, meaning it is used in combination with other treatments for the best chance at success.
Interventional oncology procedures can be generally divided into two categories: diagnostic procedures, and therapeutic procedures.
Diagnostic procedures are used to obtain accurate diagnoses of suspicious tissue and include three types of biopsies: fine needle aspiration, core needle biopsy and vacuum assisted biopsy.
Therapeutic procedures can be further divided between ablation techniques, used to destroy or remove the tissue, embolization techniques used to shrink the tissue, and palliative techniques that serve to improve patient quality of life and reduce cancer-related pain.
Because interventional oncology procedures are minimally invasive, they cause less pain, fewer complications, and require much less time for procedure as well as recovery. Interventional oncology is typically performed on an outpatient basis.
Interventional oncology can also greatly assist with other forms of cancer treatment. For instance, when chemotherapy is delivered the potency of the treatment is increased while the serious side effects that would be associated with a broader application are decreased. Also, if surgery to remove the cancerous tumors is not possible due to the size of the tumor, the number of the tumors, or the location of the tumors, interventional oncology procedures can be used to shrink or reduce the tumors to make surgical removal possible.