Today, we are talking about one of the useful methods for lung cancer treatment called radiofrequency ablation. Radiotherapy ablation, also referred as RFA, utilizes heat made by radio waves for the treatment of lung cancer. The heat is used to destroy the lung cancer cells. RFA uses imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT or MRI to guide needle electrode into cancerous tumor.
Preparing for Radiotherapy Ablation
The doctor explains how to prepare for the treatment. You should not eat or drink anything except water for four to six hours before the treatment. You should discuss any recent illnesses, allergies, medical conditions and medications you are taking.
Performing Radiotherapy Ablation
During radiotherapy ablation, nurse puts a small tube called cannula into the vein in the back of hand. The anesthetist injects the medicine to help you feel sleepy and then the doctor injects anesthetic into the area of chest. CT scanner is used to show the position of cancer. A small probe like needle is put through the skin of chest, directly into the tumor. The electrode in the probe creates radiofrequency energy to produce heat and destroy the tumor.
The possible side effects of radiofrequency ablation include soreness, pain and feeling tired. It may make you feel breathless and you should tell your doctor if breathing gets worse after the treatment. You might feel a bit drowsy as well. You might have pain where the needle was inserted for a few days.
Uses of RFA
RFA is generally used to treat lung cancer when it is in the early stage. It is an effective option when one is not a candidate for surgery due to limited lung function. When one is having multiple metastases in the lungs, RFA is used. It can also be used to reduce the size of tumor so that it can be more easily eliminated by chemotherapy.
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