By the time lung cancer presents with symptoms and a diagnosis has been given, in 85% of cases the cancer is generally unable to be removed surgically. However, minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures can help reduce your pain and improve the quality of your life.
When Is This Procedure Conducted?
A non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure called Lung Ablation is performed when a tumour in the lung is inoperable. It is called Microwave Ablation (MWA), a localised treatment that kills the tumour cells with heat, while sparing the healthy lung tissue. It is ideal for smaller tumors where an operation cannot be offered because of age or poor lung function.
It is a safe, minimally invasive tool for local pulmonary tumor control with negligible mortality, little morbidity, short hospital stay, and positive gain in quality of life.
How Does This Procedure Work?
The interventional radiologist will guide a small needle through the skin into the tumour. Microwave energy is transmitted to the tip of the needle, where it produces heat in the tissues. The dead tumour tissue shrinks and slowly forms a scar. MWA is suitable for tumours up to 35mm in size.
How Will I Feel After The Procedure?
Unlike systemic therapy (chemotherapy, medications), this treatment is much easier on you.
Microwave energy can be given without affecting your overall health and you are able to resume your usual activities within a few days.
How Successful Is Lung Ablation?
Depending on the size of the tumour, Microwave ablation can shrink or kill the tumour, extending your survival time and greatly improving the quality of your life while living with cancer.
MWA can be ????? if used in patients without metastatic and small 9up to 35mm) primary tumours.
Because it is a local treatment that does not harm healthy tissue, the treatment can be repeated as often as needed to keep you comfortable. MWA has been available since the late 1990’s and is a very safe procedure, with complication rates around two to three percent.
By decreasing the size of a large mass, or treating new tumours in the lung as they arise, the pain and other debilitating symptoms caused by the tumours are relieved. While the tumors themselves may not be painful, when they press against nerves or interfere with vital organs, they can cause pain.
Summary of Benefits Of Lung Ablation
- Is most effective when all the cancer is localised in the lung
- Can be used to treat primary lung cancer and tumours that have metastasized (spread) from other areas in the body to the lung
- Usually does not require general anesthetic
- Is well tolerated: most patients can resume their normal routine the next day and may feel tired for a few days
- It can be repeated if necessary
- It may be combined with other treatment options
- It can relieve pain and suffering for many cancer patients
- It has a short hospital stay
- It has few complications
Learn more about the treatment at http://www.sirweb.org/patients/lung-cancer/