Benign Tumours And Cancers

At Vascular and interventional centre, we provide medical services to treat the following tumours and cancers: 

  1. Thyroid Nodules 
  2. Uterine Fibroids
  3. Liver and Kidney tumours and cancers 
  • THYROID NODULES

 

OVERVIEW

Thyroid nodules are lumps of cells that can grow in the thyroid gland, which is located at the base of the neck. Thyroid nodules are relatively common and seen in approximately 30% of adults. In most cases, they are benign, meaning they are not harmful and cause few symptoms. In rare cases, thyroid nodules may become malignant (cancerous).

SYMPTOMS

Small, benign thyroid nodules often do not produce any symptoms. However, if they do grow in size and/or become symptomatic, an individual may experience some of the following:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Goitre (enlargement of the thyroid gland)
  • Pain around the base of the neck
  • Hoarseness/change in voice

CAUSES/RISK FACTORS

Thyroid nodules are seen most commonly in women of older age. However, there are more specific risk factors, including:

  • Family history of thyroid nodules
  • X-Ray previously performed on thyroid
  • A previous thyroid cancer diagnosis
  • Iodine Deficiency
  • Thyroiditis (chronic inflammation of the thyroid)
  • Hashimoto’s Disease

DIAGNOSIS

An ultrasound scan followed by Fine Needle Aspiration Sampling (FNAC) is done to determine the nature of the nodule (whether it is benign or malignant). 

While surgical resection is the standard treatment for malignant nodules, benign nodules are usually monitored and if they grow in size, show abnormal features on an ultrasound scan or cause symptoms, the patient may consider treatment.

OUR TREATMENT

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

  • This a minimally invasive technique involving using radiofrequency heatwaves via a special small needle under ultrasound guidance is recently introduced for treating benign thyroid nodules. 
  • Heat energy is applied to the nodule, causing the destruction of cells from within. The nodules gradually shrink in size or become stable and are smaller in size on follow-up.
  • RFA preserves the thyroid tissue adjacent to the nodule

This procedure is usually performed as a day surgery procedure under light sedation. Patients are generally discharged the same day after monitoring, and there is no surgical scar.

  • UTERINE FIBROIDS

OVERVIEW

Uterine fibroids are common, non-cancerous tumours of the uterus. It is estimated that by the age of 35, up to 40-50% of women have uterine fibroids. There are four basic types of uterine fibroids, classified according to their location in the uterus:

  1. Subserosal Fibroids: These develop in the outer portion of the uterus and continue to grow outward
  2. Intramural Fibroids: These are the most common type and develop in the uterine wall and expand
  3. Submucosal Fibroids: These are the least common and develop within the uterine cavity, causing excessive and prolonged menstrual bleeding

Pedunculated fibroids: These grow on stalks or stems. The stems are attached to the uterine wall and can grow either outside the uterus or inside the uterine cavity

SYMPTOMS

In some women, the fibroids can produce mild or no symptoms at all. For others, symptoms of uterine fibroids include:

  • Abnormal menstrual cycle (heavy or frequently occurring)
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse
  • Pressure on the bladder causing frequent urination
  • Acute or severe pelvic pain
  • Bloating

DIAGNOSIS

  • Ultrasound scan of the uterus
  • A CT scan is ordered especially if there are multiple fibroids.

OUR TREATMENTS

Uterine Fibroid Embolisation

  • UFE is done via a groin or radial artery access puncture.  
  • A catheter is then guided using fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray technology, to the arteries that supply the uterus and the fibroids specifically
  • Small particles or microspheres are then injected into the arteries supplying the fibroids, thus cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids. Post-procedure, these fibroids should start to shrink and reduce in size. 

You are the right candidate for UFE if you:

  • Are a woman who is over 35 years old
  • Are not currently pregnant
  • Have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids
  • Are experiencing symptoms such as excessive heavy bleeding, cramping, pelvic pain, bloating or frequent urination

You are also a candidate if you prefer a non-surgical uterine fibroid treatment option that will preserve your uterus. Make sure to discuss all options with your physician before making a decision.

Some of the benefits of UFE include:

  • A minimally invasive procedure that effectively shrinks uterine fibroids
  • Requires only local (rather than general) anaesthesia; numbing only one area of the body rather than full sedation
  • Does not cause scarring like most other surgical techniques 
  • While there will be some moderate pain after a UFE procedure, it is typically less than post-surgical pain
  • A good option if you would like to preserve your uterus as compared to  a hysterectomy
  • 85-90% of women experience significant relief of their symptoms
  • Faster recovery time compared to traditional surgery
  • Same day procedure typically with no overnight stay
  • Reduced risk of infection as compared to conventional open surgery
  • LIVER AND KIDNEY TUMOURS AND CANCERS

OVERVIEW

Normally, there are chemical signals in the body that control when cell division will take place, such as during growth, repair and cell replacement. However, if cells divide to produce higher numbers than necessary, they can accumulate to form masses of cells known as tumours. Tumours may be benign, meaning that they only grow in one specific location. Such tumours are considered non-cancerous and can produce no symptoms at all unless they compress essential structures such as blood vessels or nerves. In these situations, even tumours that remain in one area of the body can cause significant damage.

Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled division of cells that have the potential to affect normal function of organs at the site of disease. Cancerous tumours are those with the ability to move around the body and grow in new locations, causing considerable damage in the process.

SYMPTOMS

Patients will experience different symptoms depending on the location of the primary site of a tumour. Some general symptoms include:

  • The presence of a lump under the skin that may/may not be felt
  • Fatigue
  • Unexpected weight loss/gain
  • Fever
  • Pain

In addition to benign tumours, we provide treatment for liver and kidney cancer, which can produce more specific symptoms.  

Liver cancer symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Easy bruising/bleeding
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (symptoms of jaundice)

Kidney cancer symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the side of the body/lower back
  • The presence of a lump in the side of the body/lower back
  • Swelling in the ankles/legs
  • Loss of appetite

CAUSES/ RISK FACTORS

There are no known direct causes that trigger the growth of benign/cancerous tumours. Instead, many risk factors that may influence the process have been identified. These include:

  • Genetics (family history)
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to ionising radiation 
  • Infection (by some viruses, e.g. HPV and hepatitis B/C)

DIAGNOSIS

A biopsy is performed, using CT and Ultrasound guidance for cancer diagnosis.

OUR TREATMENTS 

We offer the following interventional procedures for the treatment of liver and kidney tumors and cancer:

  • Biopsy – using CT and Ultrasound guidance for cancer diagnosis. 
  • Tumour Ablation 
    • Involves using minimally invasive techniques to treat tumours or alleviate symptoms.
    • Examples of ablation procedures include radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation and cryoablation. 
  • Tumour Embolisation 
    • Involves targeted therapy being delivered directly to tumours.  There is minimal impact on healthy tissues, and side effects are reduced
    • Examples of embolisation procedures include chemoembolisation, radioembolisation (selective internal radiation therapy [SIRT]), DC beads chemoembolisation and bland embolisation. 
  • Cancer Therapy Access
    • Includes the creation of temporary portacath insertions (a small device inserted into the chest) and PICC lines placement (A catheter that gives doctors access to central veins near the heart) for cancer patients to receive chemotherapy without the need for repeated needle pricks.
    • Also prevents damage to the hand veins.
  •  Drainage procedures
    • Use catheters to drain excess fluid 
    • Help relieve uncomfortable symptoms for cancer patients who may suffer from fluid retention as a side effect. 
  • Tumour Ablation 
    • Involves using minimally invasive techniques to treat tumours or alleviate symptoms.
    • Examples of ablation procedures include radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation and cryoablation. 
  • Tumour Embolisation 
    • Involves targeted therapy being delivered directly to tumours. There is minimal impact on healthy tissues, and side effects are reduced
    • Examples of embolisation procedures include chemoembolisation, radioembolisation (selective internal radiation therapy [SIRT]), DC beads chemoembolisation and bland embolisation. 
  •  Vascular interventions 
    • Involves the use of minimally invasive techniques to place stents, stop bleeding and block the flow of blood to and from tumour tissue to support chemotherapy and radiation therapy response.
  • Pain management therapies 
    • Injections and blocks can be used to provide relief from cancer-related pain.

Our Specialists will be happy to work with you and your oncologist to determine if you are a right candidate for interventional oncology treatments.

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