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How Interventional Radiology Is Used To Manage Cancer-Related Bone Pain

Pain is the most common symptom of bone cancer. The pain may start as tenderness in the affected bone, then progress to a persistent ache or an ache that comes and goes. The pain can sometimes be wrongly mistaken for arthritis in adults and growing pains in children and teenagers. Interventional radiology can be used to treat bone cancer by destroying tumors with heat or freezing them, then filling the space with bone cement to strengthen the bone.

Looking forward, the advent of these technologies has helped doctors and medical physicians disperse a higher quality of treatment to patients. Additionally, nowadays radiology outsourcing is one of the cost-effective practices globally. There are a wide range of online radiology services in USA, offering win-win opportunities for radiologists and hospitals, bringing both parties into an agreement with realistic goals, commitment, due diligence, and confidence.

Understanding Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology is a combination of several diagnostics imaging methods, such as, with therapeutic procedures carried inside the human body. This procedure can be performed through a small pinhole in the skin, allowing radiologists to address numerous medical concerns including cancer.

Interventional radiologists are medical doctors who use minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat diseases using imaging guidance. These procedures are also called image-guided therapy (IR). Interventional radiologists use small tools like catheters or wires, and precise imaging like x-ray fluoroscopy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or ultrasound.

Here are the different procedures performed by interventional radiologists:

  • Angiography – X-ray of arteries/veins for blockages
  • Angioplasty – Opens blocked blood vessels with a balloon catheter
  • Embolization – Blocks blood flow to control bleeding
  • Tube placement (e.g., feeding tubes)
  • Imaging for blood vessel problems (intravascular ultrasound)
  • Stent placement – Opens blocked vessels with a mesh coil
  • Foreign body removal from blood vessels
  • Biopsy (tissue sampling) with needle guidance
  • IVC filter placement – Catches blood clots in the vein
  • Clot-dissolving medicine injection
  • Catheter insertion for various purposes (chemo, nutrition, dialysis)
  • Cancer treatment directly delivered to the tumor

Managing Cancer Bone Pain with Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiologists play a significant role in treating cancer patients with painful bone metastases, but the doctors and physicians need to ensure they’re considering several factors in their formula for palliative care as there can be several complications.

Here are some of the reasons of cancer bone pain and how interventional radiology can address them:

Tumor pressing on bone: Cancer growth can crowd nerves and blood vessels near the bone, causing pain.

Interventional radiology: Embolization can cut blood supply to the tumor, shrinking it and reducing pressure.

Tumor weakening bone: Cancer cells can eat away at bone, increasing fracture risk and causing constant dull ache.

Interventional radiology: Vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty use injected bone cement to strengthen weakened bone and provide pain relief.

Bone breakdown by cancer cells: As cancer breaks down bone, it releases chemicals that trigger inflammation and pain.

Interventional radiology: Ablation techniques like radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation use heat or cold to destroy cancer cells, reducing inflammation and pain.

Two common interventional radiology approaches for cancer bone pain are:

  1. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): Involves using heat generated by radio waves to destroy tumor tissue and relieve pain.
  2. Percutaneous Cementoplasty: Involves injecting bone cement into the affected area to stabilize the bone and reduce pain.

Outsourcing Radiology Services: Everything You Need to Know

Outsourcing is no longer a new concept in the healthcare sector. In North America alone, the healthcare BPO (business process outsourcing) sector market size is expected to reach approximately USD 173.67 billion by FYI 2027. Outsourcing offers a wide range of benefits like cost savings, access to the best radiology services specialist, flexibility, scalability, and compliance and security. 

When outsourcing radiology services, healthcare providers should consider several factors, including:

  • Compliance with data privacy and security regulations
  • Establishing clear communication channels
  • Evaluating the scalability and flexibility of the outsourcing partner’s services ​

Teleradiology can provide access to expert radiological interpretation, which can reduce patient length of stay, rehospitalizations, and transfers to other facilities. It can also lower the costs of capital and labor.

Here are some of the factors to consider when outsourcing radiology services:

  • Cost: Outsourcing can be a cost-effective way to provide radiology services, especially if you have a high volume of studies or need access to specialized expertise.
  • Quality: Make sure the outsourcing provider has a good reputation for quality and accuracy.
  • Turnaround time: How quickly will the provider be able to turn around your studies? This is especially important if you need results quickly for patient care.
  • Communication: Make sure you can easily communicate with the provider and get answers to your questions.
  • Technology: Make sure the provider has the latest technology and equipment.
  • Security: Make sure the provider has adequate security measures in place to protect your patient data.
  • Scalability: Make sure the provider can scale its services to meet your needs as they change.
  • Compliance: Make sure the provider complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

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