When dealing with a case of cancer that affects an organ like the liver or prostate, secondary health conditions and the delicate nature of the organs can make traditional surgery impossible or unsafe. Non-surgical treatment options for these forms of cancer exist, but most of them suffer from at least one major drawback. Learn why the latest NanoKnife non-invasive surgery is a better option for most patients than these four traditional non-surgical cancer treatments.
Pure ethanol kills cancer cells, but injecting the right amount of the chemical without damaging the surrounding cells is tricky. This procedure is relatively low impact on the rest of the body, yet it also comes with a relatively high rate of failure when some cancerous cells are left behind. Since NanoKnife surgery is safe for patients who can't handle other forms of cancer surgery, it's a good alternative for those who might otherwise only have ethanol injections to rely on.
The most common non-surgical treatment for most forms of cancer is chemotherapy. Powerful drugs are introduced into the body through the bloodstream, resulting in death of the cancer cells without the need for surgery. Unfortunately, chemotherapy has many unpleasant side effects, including hair loss, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, and general malaise. Electrical ablation, the technical term for the NanoKnife procedure, does not appear to cause any of these side effects in early trials.
Radiation therapy is also commonly used, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, to target the cancer cells that aren't accessible for traditional scalpel surgery. It causes many of the same side effects as chemotherapy and can also increase overall cancer risks depending on the length of treatment. When combined with chemotherapy and compared to combination radiation therapy, the NanoKnife procedure offered a prognosis of survival that was twice as long for patients. This fact alone makes it worth considering for cancer patients who aren't candidates for other surgical procedures.
Finally, it's also possible to heat the cancer cells to destroy them. NanoKnife procedures use electrical pulses to accomplish the same effect, but the electrical pulse is very isolated and only targets the specific cells that need to be destroyed. This limits damage to sensitive tissue, blood vessels, and other parts of vital organ functions. Heat treatments are harder to control with pinpoint accuracy because the heat spreads more rapidly inside the body and is more likely to affect surrounding tissue.
To learn more, contact a company like ATLAS ONCOLOGY.