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Types of Cancer Treated

line Types of Procedures Offered

 How is ablation performed?

Ablative procedures are minimally invasive, requiring only needle sticks, very much like a biopsy.

The patient is placed under light to moderate sedation. Then a needle is placed into a tumor using image guidance. CT (computed tomography) and real time CT (CT fluoro) guide the placement of the needle precisely into the tumor. With the needle placed in the tumor, microwave (radiofrequency energy) is transmitted to the needle tip, heating and destroying the tumor. Cryoablation is a similar procedure, but instead of heat, the tumor is killed by freezing.



Click here to view entire needle deployment illustration. Procedure for radiofrequency ablation.

Types of cancer treated line

Lung Cancer

Microwave, radiofrequency and cryo ablation can be used to treat tumors that originate (primary) or spread to the lung (metastases). The procedure is done in a minimally invasive fashion, similar to a lung biopsy. Lung cancer ablation effectively treats the tumor while preserving lung function.

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PET/CT showing a lung cancer (bright


Follow up PET showing scar tissue in the region of the ablated cancer. There is no evidence of active cancer (which would appear bright).


RFA of the lung mass seen on
the previous image.

Liver Cancer

Microwave, radiofrequency and cryo ablation can be used to treat tumors that
originate (primary) or spread to the liver (metastases). The most common
type of tumor treated in the liver is colorectal metastases. Microwave and
Radiofrequency ablation are performed using a similar technique as a biopsy.

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CT scan of a liver mass

Bone Cancer

RFA, microwave or cryoablation techniques can be used to treat certain tumors involving the bone. Generally these techniques are for painful metastases involving the bone.

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bone cancer

CT image of a bone cancer ablation

Adrenal Cancer

RFA, cryo and microwave ablation can be used to treat cancer that may have spread to the adrenal gland. The technique involves placing the needle with image guidance and destroying the tumor with extreme heat generated by RF or microwave energy.

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  adrenal cancer

CT image of an adrenal gland cancer ablation

Kidney Cancer

Generally cancer involving the kidney is treated with cryoablation. This technique is mostly used for renal cell cancer. Ablation can be used in some cases to spare the removal of the kidney. It cannot be used in all cases and is very dependent on size and location.

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  kidney cancer

RFA of a kidney tumor (renal cell carcinoma)

Breast Cancer

Surgical resection is considered the gold standard for the treatment of breast cancer. Ablation is reserved for patients who are not candidates for surgery due to operative risk. The ability to treat breast cancer is highly dependent on size and location of the tumor.

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  breast cancer

CT scan of an ablation of a breast mass

Types of procedures offered line

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation involves the placement of a special needle within the tumor using image guidance. Radiofrequency energy is transmitted through the needle into the tumor. The radiofrequency energy causes the vibration of molecules which generates heat. It is this heat that results in destruction of the tumor.

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Microwave Ablation

Microwave ablation of cancer is a powerful new technique for ablation. There are very few facilities offering this procedure. The technique, however, is very similar to RFA and cryoablation. The difference is that microwave energy is very powerful. This can help increase the speed and size of the ablation. The key to any ablation procedure is needle placement within the tumor. Once the needle is placed within the tumor, microwave energy is broadcasted through the needle tip. This causes rapid rotation of water molecules, which heats and destroys the tumor.

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Cryoablation involves the placement of a needle into the tumor. Compressed gases circulate through the needle tip. The effect of these compressed gases causes the needle tip and surrounding tissue to freeze. This technique is used mostly on bone and kidney cancers.

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Cryoablation of a pelvis

Cryoablation of a spine


A Cryoablation deployment



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If you think you might be a candidate for one of these cutting edge procedures, call our office at (251) 948-3420.

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