MSK’s Vascular Disease Program

MSK’s Vascular Disease Program

Vascular and interventional radiologist Yolanda Bryce launched MSK’s vascular program for people who have cancer. It offers vascular testing and minimally invasive vascular procedures.

Vascular and interventional radiologist Yolanda Bryce launched MSK’s vascular program for people who have cancer. It offers vascular testing and minimally invasive vascular procedures.

People who have cancer often also have vascular disease. MSK offers expert care for all kinds of vascular disease. Our vascular program experts work closely with your cancer care team during your treatment.

Vascular disease affects the blood vessels and circulation. Your heart pumps blood through your blood vessels to all parts of your body.

  • An artery is a blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
  • A vein is a blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart.

Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients. Your body will not get what it needs to stay healthy when there’s a problem with your blood vessels.

Vascular disease and cancer care

MSK’s vascular team treats people in treatment for cancer or who had cancer in the past. We’re experts in diseases that affect the arteries and veins of people with cancer.

People who have cancer often also have vascular disease, because both diseases have similar risk factors. They include smoking, obesity, and not getting enough exercise. Risk factors are things that make you more likely to develop a health problem.

Vascular problems related to cancer

Some types of cancer raise your risk for hypercoagulability (HAHY-per-koh-AG-yuh-luh-BIL-i-tee). This condition makes blood clots form more easily and more often than normal.

Tumor cells can affect the body’s coagulation (koh-AG-yuh-ley-shuhn) system. Coagulation is the way blood forms a clot to stop bleeding. Too much coagulation raises your risk for getting blood clots.

Tumor masses or enlarged (bigger) lymph nodes also can compress (squeeze) blood vessels. They can make it harder for blood to travel to and from the heart.

Vascular problems related to cancer treatment

Some treatments for cancer also can raise your risk for getting vascular problems. They include radiation, surgery, and some chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments.

It’s important to have vascular specialists who also are experts in treating people who have cancer. If vascular problems are very bad, your care team may need to change your cancer treatment plan.

What vascular problems does MSK diagnose and manage?

  • Pulmonary embolism (PUL-muh-NAYR-ee EM-boh-lih-zum). This is a sudden blocking of the arteries that send blood to the lungs.
  • Long-term problems after a pulmonary embolism
  • Discomfort or fatigue in the buttocks (butt) and legs
  • Wounds on the legs or feet
  • Leg or arm swelling from poor circulation
  • Varicose veins (VAYR-ih-kose vayns), when veins get big and painful
  • Discomfort while walking
  • Little or no interest in walking
  • Discomfort when using your arm
  • Stomach pain or fear of eating
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure or kidney problems
  • Removing inferior vena cava (IVC) filters

The MSK difference for vascular care

MSK has a team of experts in treating and researching vascular disease during or after cancer treatment. Vascular disease can be managed well. But people must have follow-up care, sometimes for a very long time.

MSK’s vascular disease experts see people for years after their cancer treatment ends. This long-term relationship is important for medicine management. It also helps us support you in improving your vascular health, such as exercising.

Did you know?

Black and Hispanic people and women are more at risk for getting vascular disease. They often can get a diagnosis that’s not correct. They have different symptoms than white men with vascular disease.

MSK’s vascular disease program location and services

MSK’s vascular program vascular program is part of MSK’s Department of Radiology.

We diagnose vascular disease through our Noninvasive Vascular Imaging Center, as well our departments for CT and MRI scans. 

The vascular program is based at Memorial Hospital in Manhattan. We offer all procedures at the hospital or at the Koch Center. Many people have vascular care appointments through telemedicine.

We also offer telemedicine and imaging procedures, including CT and MRI scans, at other MSK locations. They’re in New Jersey (Monmouth), Westchester County (Harrison), and on Long Island (Commack). See all MSK locations.

Our vascular program experts may order imaging and other tests. We may prescribe medicine that lowers your risk for blood clots. These medicines include anticoagulants, antiplatelets, cholesterol medicine, or other agents.

Other treatments include walking programs to improve your vascular health, and compression stockings and wrapping.

The vascular disease management team meets every week to talk about people in our care. We work together to choose the best treatment for you, based on the latest science and research.

Treating vascular disease without surgery

MSK’s vascular program offers non-surgical procedures to treat vascular disease. They include:

  • Stents. These are devices placed in a blood vessel to keep it open.
  • Angioplasty (AN-jee-oh-PLAS-tee). This is a procedure to widen the opening in a blood vessel to improve the flow of blood. 
  • Thrombolysis (throm-BOL-ih-sis). This is medicine put into an artery or vein to break up a thrombus (blood clot) that’s blocking the flow of blood.
  • Thrombectomy (throm-BEK-toh-mee). This is a procedure to remove a blood clot from an artery or vein.

We have a video animation that shows what happens when we put in a renal artery stent.

To make an appointment with MSK’s vascular experts, please call us at 212-639-8689.

MSK’s team of vascular disease experts

Launched by radiologist Yolanda Bryce, MSK’s vascular program offers vascular imaging, testing, and disease management.

Dr. Bryce’s main focus is on arterial (artery) disease, often caused by atherosclerosis (ath-uh-ro-skluh-ROH-sis). This is also called hardening of the arteries, a condition caused by:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Some chemotherapy drugs
  • Radiation
  • Not moving around enough

Dr. Bryce leads the vascular program with interventional radiologist Adie Friedman. An interventional (IN-ter-VEN-shun-al) radiologist is a doctor with special training in using image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat disease.

Dr. Friedman’s main focus is venous (vein) disease in the legs or feet. This condition often is caused by:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can happen when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside your body.
  • Compression (squeezing) of veins by a tumor.
  • Scarring from radiation and surgery.
  • Pulmonary embolism (PUL-muh-NAYR-ee EM-boh-lih-zum). This is a sudden blocking of arteries that send blood to the lungs.

The vascular team’s interventional radiologists are: