Radiation Therapy in Pasadena, CA
Fighting cancer can be one life’s greatest challenges – but at Pasadena CyberKnife, we are committed to helping you see it through. We’re proud to provide advanced cancer treatment services from our Pasadena cancer center, and we work with patients to design treatment plans that fit into their lifestyles while helping them beat cancer. In addition to treating most cancerous conditions, we can also use cutting-edge treatments like CyberKnife to treat certain noncancerous conditions – including AVMs.
Types of AVMs
Arteriovenous malformations, or AVMs, are abnormal “tangles” of blood vessels where arteries and veins connect without capillaries between them. Over time, blood can pool in an AVM and cause it to expand, eventually causing a risk for bleeding. AVMs can form anywhere in the body, but they’re most common and most serious when they form in the brain.
There are several types of AVMs:
- Arteriovenous Malformation: These form when veins and arteries connect without intervening capillaries. AVMs. They tend to be higher in pressure and consequently have an increased risk of bleeding.
- Cavernoma: This refers to an abnormally large cluster of capillaries. Cavernomas have lower pressure than arteriovenous malformations and pose a lower risk of bleeding.
- Venous Malformation: An abnormal cluster of enlarged veins. Venous malformations pose a low risk of bleeding and often go without treatment.
- Capillary Telangiectasia: Similar to cavernomas, these are abnormally enlarged capillaries. They rarely bleed and rarely require treatment.
- Dural Arteriovenous Fistula: A direct connection between the arteries or veins and a venous sinus, which is a blood-filled area of the dura mater.
Stages of AVMs
Because AVMs are not tumors, there is no staging system used to evaluate them like the one used for cancer. Instead, the severity of an AVM will be assessed individually by your doctor. A few factors that contribute to an AVM being more or less dangerous include:
- Location in the body or brain
- Level of blood pressure within the AVM
- Number of feeding arteries and draining veins
- How quickly the AVM is growing
Generally, the larger, higher-pressure an AVM is, the more likely it will bleed. If an AVM forms in the brain, a bleed can cause serious side effects including seizures or even death – so it’s vital to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Contact Your Los Angeles Radiation Oncology Center
AVMs can pose a serious threat if left untreated, but at Pasadena CyberKnife, we can use noninvasive methods like CyberKnife to close AVMs without surgery and prevent the risk of a bleed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can treat AVMs and schedule a consultation for treatment, or don’t hesitate to call us at 626.768.1021 with any questions. We look forward to helping you close your AVM and prevent the dangers and complications that can come from a bleed.