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What are Interventional Radiology (IR) cancer treatments?

Interventional radiology is a relatively new field of medicine that utilizes a less invasive approach to both diagnosis and treatment with regard to cancer. There are two basic approaches to treatment/diagnosis. The first is the use of a radiofrequency or other ablation probes which is placed under imaging guidance into the body and into the tumor through the skin. The other approach would be
through the artery. Typically, the artery in the right groin (common femoral artery) is accessed through the skin. Using different small tubes (catheters) and wires, the artery supplying the tumor is accessed. A small amount of contrast was injected to confirm the location. At this point, either bead with radiation, beads with no radiation, or beads laced with chemotherapy is injected into the tumor.

Common Uses
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
- Metastatic disease to the liver (most commonly from the breast or colon)
- Cholangiocarcinoma
- Renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer)
- Lung cancer
- Painful bony metastatic disease

The fluoroscopy or CT machine used in these procedures does use radiation. Typically, radiation doses are safe and do not require any precautions after the procedure, with a few small exceptions. The Interventional Radiologist physician will discuss these rare exceptions prior to the procedure.

Food and drink
The patient shall not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the procedure.

When to arrive
Appointments are made with the ARC at the main hospital and arrival time is typically 1-1.5 hours prior to the planned procedure time.

Contrast medium
IV contrast is used in the procedure that requires right groin access. Labs will be drawn prior to the procedure to ensure safety. If you have a history of any kind of reaction to contrast administration, please let the staff know.

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