At Integrated Pain Consultants, our team of pain management doctors offers a suite of options to treat pain including radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA works by using an electrical current, created by radio waves, that heats a small part of nerve tissue in order to decrease the ability of these nerve cells to send pain signals. It’s a minimally invasive procedure and in many cases can be used as an alternative to surgery—including for those with recurrent liver cancer according to a new report. Once liver cancer has been removed, up to 70 percent of patients experience disease recurrence within five years. These recurrences are usually discovered at an early stage, which gives patients more treatment options.
For a while, the two most common treatments under these circumstances were (more) surgery and percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (PRFA). The latter procedure involves a probe inserted into the tumor, followed by radio waves that heat up and destroy the cancerous tissue. Of course, PRFA is a little different than RFA, and is designed specifically to treat cancer (not nerves sending unnecessary pain signals). Still, it highlights the power and benefits of radiofrequency waves and is worth taking a closer look.
A recent study in JAMA Oncology showcased the world’s first randomized clinical trial that compared surgery to PRFA. The result? There were no big differences in the results between the two approaches. However, patients who were more advanced in their cancer recurrence did enjoy more survival benefits from surgery. The key with any cancer is catching and treating it early. When recurrent liver cancer is found in its earlier stages, it seems that when opting for surgery or PRFA makes little difference.
More studies will need to be done on this, but it’s an exciting notion to keep an eye on. The more common RFA can be used to treat a wide variety of pain symptoms caused by nerves. Your nerves are your body’s way of telling you there’s an injury, but sometimes nerves are damaged and those messages aren’t always correct. Chronic pain symptoms can make life difficult, but conservative treatments like RFA can help. Discover more about the wide range of pain management options at Integrated Pain Consultants, like RFA, by calling (480) 626-2552 today.