Interventional Radiology as a Necessary Part of Oncology Studies
Interventional radiology (IR) is a sub-specialty within radiology that plays an increasingly important role in the treatment of several serious diseases. In oncology the role of interventional radiology begins with the initial diagnosis of cancer and involvement of the minimally invasive treatment in combination with other treatment modalities.
IR has a wide scope in the management of oncology patient. In the modern era, the interventional radiologist uses an expanding range of imaging modalities, either alone or in combination, to examine the perfection of percutaneous biopsy in individual cases. Today, the treatment of cancer requires many advances offered by IR, such as delivering chemotherapy that directly affect the organs, killing the tumor with heat via adequate radiofrequency ablation, and many other applications that can diagnose the cancer cells without harming the healthy cells in the body.
These treatments are easier on the patient that allow for localized higher dosing. There are some common interventional imaging modalities that include computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound. The computed tomography and fluoroscopy use ionizing radiation that may be potentially harmful to the patient and the involved radiologists; though both methods have the advantages of being fast and geometrically accurate. Under the interventional radiology oncology, ultrasound suffers from poor image quality and tissue contrast problems. MRI provides superior tissue contrast but it is an expensive treatment and needs specialized equipments that will not interact with the magnetic fields. There are some common interventional radiology procedures such as angiography, balloon angiography, chemoembolization, embolization, biopsy, IVC filters, vertebroplasty etc.