Noninvasive Cancer Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, our mission is to help our patients find hope and beat cancer through state-of-the-art CyberKnife treatment. As a leading radiation therapy provider serving the Pasadena and greater Los Angeles areas, we offer a nonsurgical, noninvasive option for treating a wide variety of cancers and other conditions. One of the noncancerous conditions we treat is arteriovenous malformation (AVM) – and if you’ve been diagnosed, we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
Arteriovenous Malformation FAQ
What is an arteriovenous malformation?
An arteriovenous malformation, abbreviated AVM, is a snarled tangle of blood vessels –essentially, it’s a connection formed between arteries, veins, or both that should not be there. Normally, the vascular system works by pumping oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to capillaries throughout the body. In the capillaries, which are thin, microscopic blood vessels, the oxygen in the blood is transferred through the thin capillary wall to cells in the tissue, where it’s used in cellular energy production. Depleted of oxygen, the blood then returns, through the veins, to the heart and lungs, where it is reoxygenated and the process continues.
AVMs occur when blood vessels connect directly, forming a pool of blood that bypasses the capillary system. This can cause a variety of problems depending on where the AVM forms.
Where can AVMs form?
Technically, AVMs can form anywhere in the body, but the most common (and the most serious) location they form is the brain. AVMs may form near the surface of the brain or deep in the brain, and they can also form in the brain’s outer covering.
How dangerous are brain AVMs?
Extremely. The problem is that because AVMs form a pool of blood that often grows in size, they pose a risk of hemorrhaging: breaking the walls of the blood vessels and causing internal bleeding. If this occurs in the brain, it can cause problems as serious as stroke and may even prove fatal. Brain AVMs have about a 1-3% chance of bleeding in a given year, but in a 15-year period, a brain AVM has a 25% chance of bleeding.
What are the symptoms of AVMs?
Unfortunately, AVMs don’t generally produce symptoms until they bleed – so they can often go undetected. However, without treatment, the risk of bleeding is serious and poses a major problem.
How are AVMs treated?
At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we treat AVMs using CyberKnife: a cutting-edge radiation therapy system that uses precise, fine-tuned radiation to shrink and close the AVM. CyberKnife treatment doesn’t require surgery or incisions and is given without any need for anesthesia, making it a highly convenient treatment option.
Contact Your Pasadena Cancer Center
AVMs – particularly brain AVMs – can pose a serious threat to your life, but at Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we’re here to help. Our cancer center features world-class technology that can treat AVMs without surgery, and we’re always happy to speak with new patients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through radiation therapy and to schedule your treatment consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you!