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Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment at Sarasota Interventional Radiology

An estimated one million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year. There are more than 100 known types of cancer, many of which can be treated and forced into submission. When normal cells are damaged, they are usually repaired or die off. However, cancers begin when damaged cells grow out of control to form new, abnormal cells that behave differently:
  • Cancer cells multiply and form tumors that invade or impact nearby normal tissue.
  • Cancer cells circulate through the bloodstream or lymph vessels to other parts of the body, where they grow and form tumors that affect normal tissue. The spreading of cancer is referred to as metastasis.
Oncologists, hematologists and other physicians treat cancer patients according to the type of cancer they have and the rate at which the cancers are growing. These physicians often refer patients to Sarasota Interventional Radiology for procedures that assist in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and that relieve complications from cancer.

Biopsies to Diagnose Cancer

Biopsies are performed at Sarasota Interventional Radiology to diagnose new cancers, provide additional information about existing cancers, and evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy or other treatments. Biopsies are short medical procedures performed to collect a piece of tissue or sample of cells to send to the pathology lab for further analysis. At SIR, all biopsies are performed with CT guidance and conscious sedation, making the biopsies safer, more accurate, and less painful for patients.
内蒙古快3Cancer Treatment, Prostate and Lung Cancer, Sarasota Interventional Radiology (SIR-Florida) - Florida’s Premier Radiology Practice
Biopsies are frequently used to look for the following types of cancer:
  • Adrenal Cancer
  • Abdominal/Retroperitoneal Cancer
  • Blood Cancer
  • Bone Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lymph Node Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Cancer Treatment - Selective Internal Radiation Therapy

Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is a treatment that delivers millions of tiny microscopic radioactive beads called SIR-spheres (microspheres) directly to liver tumors. The microspheres are delivered to the tumor through a microcatheter and become permanently lodged in the tumor bed, where they deliver beta-radiation over several weeks following treatment. With this targeted application, SIRT can deliver up to 40 times more radiation to the liver tumor than conventional radiation.

SIRT involves a three-step process for each lobe of the liver that requires treatment:
  • The first step is an outpatient procedure performed at SIR. This includes a comprehensive mesenteric angiogram for evaluation of the vascular supply to the lobe of the liver requiring treatment. This angiogram also searches for any anomalous vessels from the hepatic artery that may be on a course to any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Any such anomalous vessels will be embolized with coils to prevent delivery of the microspheres to these non-targeted areas.
  • The second procedure, also an outpatient procedure, is performed at nearby Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The mesenteric angiogram is repeated, and a microcatheter is placed within the vessel at the site of the intended treatment to permit infusion of technetium 99m MAA particles for nuclear medicine lung and liver scanning. After the lung-liver shunt index is determined to be a value within a safe range, the planned dosage of microspheres is ordered.
  • The third and final procedure involves the actual infusion of the microspheres directly into the branch of the hepatic artery that supplies blood to the liver lobes, segments or sub-segments intended for treatment, while minimizing exposure to the remaining healthy tissue. The patient is kept overnight in the hospital and discharged the next day.
The patient continues to follow-up with imaging studies and office visits for evaluation. Throughout the entire process, close collaboration is maintained with SIR’s registered nurse, the patient’s primary care physician, radiation and surgical oncologists, and associated departments at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.

SIR-spheres were granted regulatory approval in the United States in 2002. The treatment of thousands of patients has now been accomplished in numerous research studies and centers of excellence around the world. Dr. Grubbs, SIR’s founder and leading interventional radiologist, is passionate about cutting-edge imaging technology and minimally invasive procedures, with a special interest in selective internal radiation therapy. He has over 20 years of previous experience doing targeted therapy for liver cancers and has been performing SIRT effectively since 2008 with considerable success and positive patient outcomes.


"I have been in many medical facilities and hospitals in my 82 years, but never have I been treated better than at SIR. Thank you, and your entire staff is to be commended."

Agnus B, Holmes Beach, Fl

Thermal Ablation Treatments:
 Radiofrequency Ablation - Microwave Ablation - Cryoablation

Thermal ablation is a term that encompasses several new noninvasive procedures that promise major results for those with cancer. While thermal principles have been used successfully for nearly two decades to treat chronic nerve-related pain, recent developments have allowed doctors to apply these principles to create more and more cancer remission success stories.

During thermal ablation, a needle is inserted through the skin to the site of the tumor, and energy is then delivered to through the needle to kill the diseased cells. One of the great advantages of this type of localized treatment is that surrounding healthy tissue is left unharmed. This contrasts with systemic treatments such as chemotherapy, which travel through the entire body and sometimes cannot be given in doses high enough to kill cancer cells because of intolerable or life-threatening side effects. While not a cure for cancer, thermal ablation can be combined with other treatment options, used before or after surgery or radiation, and used in addition to other treatments such as chemotherapy.

Thermal ablation is becoming increasingly important to treat liver, lung, kidney and bone cancers because it targets cells and destroys them with minimal damage to nearby tissue. Thermal ablation is used to:
  • Provide a local treatment option for small tumor removal, when surgery isn’t possible or is too risky.
  • Shrink larger tumors to a size that makes it possible to surgically remove them.
  • Shrink tumors to relieve debilitating pain and suffering associated with tumors that interfere with organs or press against nerves.
Specific types of thermal ablation include Radiofrequency Ablation, Microwave Ablation, and Cryoablation:
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) uses high levels of heat for tissue ablation and relies on electrical conduction through the tissue. RFA provides large zones of ablation that can treat both primary and secondary tumors in a relatively short period of time.
内蒙古快3Cancer Treatment, Prostate and Lung Cancer, Sarasota Interventional Radiology (SIR-Florida) - Florida’s Premier Radiology Practice
  • Microwave Ablation involves the delivery of heat through a process known as dielectric hysteresis. It is gaining attention because it generates heat quickly, and microwave ablation research is ongoing to determine the types of tumors best suited for this type of ablation.
  • Cryoablation is the delivery of extreme cold to destroy tissue. It has proved effective in treating solid tumors in the lung, liver, breast, kidney and prostate.
Other advantages of these ablation options are:
  • Can be done as an outpatient procedure, which means recoveries are quicker and hospital stays, when needed, are shorter
  • Is less risky and has fewer complications than surgery
  • Can usually be performed using a local anesthesia
  • Allows the patient to resume normal activities within a few days
  • Can be repeated as needed

 Treatments for Cancer Side Effects - Paracentesis and Thoracentesis

While not cures for cancer, minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures are proving to be valuable weapons in the fight against complications from cancers, including pain, fluid buildup, bleeding, blood clots, obstruction of vital organs, and infections. At SIR, procedures are performed to dramatically improve quality of life for cancer patients.

Pain from Cancer. The celiac ganglion block and superior hypogastric ganglion block are procedures used by interventional radiology to treat pain from cancer that sometime results from the tumor spreading into a network of nerves and blood vessels. This occurs mainly with cancer of the pancreas or stomach, and the pain is often debilitating. By inserting a catheter into the affected area and introducing an agent that destroys the affected nerves, pain is relieved.

Fluid Buildup. Cancer may obstruct the normal flow of urine or bile, leading to fluid accumulation in the body that left untreated is not only painful but also can result in infection and even lead to organ failure. Several procedures, using a catheter guided by x-ray, are performed at SIR to drain the fluid buildup. Paracentesis and thoracentesis are performed to remove excess fluid that has accumulated in the body to improve comfort for cancer patients and, in some cases, to improve organ function.
  • Paracentesis removes fluid from the abdominal cavity (peritoneal fluid), referred to as ascites. It is used for certain types of cancer, such as liver cancer.
  • Thoracentesis removes fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall, called pleural effusion. It is used for lung cancer patients.
PleurX and catheter placement  involves placement of a catheter to drain fluids from the abdominal area (ascites) or the lungs (pleural effusion). It provides relief from the painful symptoms of fluid buildup and stays in place to allow patients to drain these fluids in the comfort of their own 内蒙古快3s. This procedure is often used in conjunction with paracentesis and thoracentesis.

PICC Line and Port Placement

A PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) is a means to administer medications or chemotherapy to cancer patients by providing intravenous access that can be used for an extended period. The PICC line is a long, thin hollow tube that is inserted above the elbow into the patient’s vein and channeled into a large vein in the chest. It stays in place until treatment has concluded.
A port is an implanted device placed under the skin to provide long-term intravenous access for chemotherapy and medications. It is made up of a small reservoir and a catheter that provides access to the larger veins.
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