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During the physical exam, your doctor will examine your overall health, blood pressure, and heart rate. A full-body skin exam will also be done.
A PET scan is an imaging test that uses sugar (glucose) to find cancer cells. Other imaging tests include a CT scan, ultrasound, and an MRI.
Surgical excision involves cutting away the tumor with a scalpel or other blade. This can be done on an outpatient basis in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia or under general anesthesia in a hospital.
Your physician will close the incision with stitches. They may also perform cauterization, which involves burning and sealing the blood vessels with a heated probe to stop bleeding and reduce scarring.
If the tumor is near lymph nodes, your doctor may perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy or complete lymph node dissection to check whether cancer cells, like basal cell carcinoma Memphis, have spread to these glands. This surgery may be combined with radiation therapy. The local recurrence rate after this treatment is significantly lower than other skin cancers. Radiation helps shrink the remaining tumor and prevent it from recurring.
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by destroying their genetic material. It can also help shrink tumors before surgery or make them less likely to return after surgery.
A linear accelerator (LINAC) machine creates radiation beams to target your tumor from many directions. The care team adjusts the beam’s size and shape to damage healthy tissue around the cancer as little as possible. You will lie still and may wear a head support or plastic mesh mask to limit movement. You may need radiation treatments every weekday for several weeks.
Radiation that goes inside your body is called brachytherapy. It is given through a needle or through a tube called a catheter. The liquid radiation travels through the blood to tissues in your body, seeking out and damaging cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is a drug that kills cancer cells and slows or stops the growth of new cancer cells. It can be given in combination with other treatments or by itself. It can also be delivered with a device, such as a port or pump, that goes into a large vein in your chest.
Your doctor may give chemotherapy drugs in a way that depends on the type of cancer you have and other factors, such as how fast your body grows or if you’re pregnant. The treatment is often done in a series of cycles that include periods of treatment followed by periods without therapy.
Your doctor will tell you what to expect during your chemotherapy treatments. You might need to change your work schedule or make other plans while you’re getting treatment, and your doctor may prescribe medications that help control side effects.
Immunotherapy uses drugs or your immune system to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. Your immune system has white blood cells called T lymphocytes, which monitor your body for foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses and can kill cancerous cells.
Some cancer cells hide from the immune system or trick it into not attacking them. Immunotherapy treatments, such as rituximab (Rituxan), can overcome these tricks.
Cancer immunotherapy may cause side effects like the flu, including fever, chills, fatigue, and weight gain from extra fluids in your lungs or abdomen. Regular blood tests and different types of scans will show how your treatment is working. These tests will help your doctor decide if your therapy should continue, change, or stop.
Arterial embolism occurs when a clot in the blood vessels of a tissue or organ travels through the bloodstream and lodges in an artery. This can block blood flow and cause tissue damage (ischemia). Emboli in the brain cause a stroke, while those in the heart cause a heart attack.
This procedure uses a catheter to clog the main renal blood vessel to prevent tumor growth by depriving it of oxygen-carrying blood. The doctor may use ultrasound, CT, or MRI to obtain images of the blood vessels before the procedure.
Patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma sometimes have large tumors that extend into nearby structures and veins. They may not be surgical candidates if these tumors are too large or if the surgeon fears they will bleed during surgery. This procedure reduces the size of these tumors and makes them easier to remove by blocking their blood supply.