Using Heat in Cancer Treatment
Hyperthermia is a form of cancer treatment that involves using high temperatures to kill or expose cancerous cells. It is usually used in combination with other types of radiation, as hyperthermia has been shown to improve the results of radiation. Some cancerous cells are hard to locate, and can easily go unnoticed.
Hyperthermia can cause those cells to re-activate, so-to-speak, allowing immediate radiation therapy to kill them more easily. Currently, hyperthermia is an experimental form of cancer treatment that is showing a great deal of promise. Beverly Oncology & Imaging has the medical experience and equipment necessary to perform this treatment with the utmost care and skill.
How Does Hyperthermia Treatment Work?
Hyperthermia can be applied locally, regionally, or to the whole-body. Local application is typically used to destroy a tumor with very high temperatures. This is accomplished by aiming high energy waves at the surface of the patient’s body where the tumor lies beneath. Another method is to insert a thin probe into the tumor itself, which will then release energy and heat the tumor directly.
With regional hyperthermia, a portion of the patient’s body is heated, typically a limb or organ. The heat does not typically harm normal body tissue, although temporary side effects such as burns or pain can occur, depending on the type of tissue being treated. Through a deep tissue approach, an external applicator sends radio frequencies toward the cancerous area. In a perfusion technique, some of the patient’s blood is drawn, heated, and then pumped back into the body.
If the cancer has spread throughout the entire body, whole-body hyperthermia is an option. With this treatment, patients may spend time in a thermal chamber, immersed in warm water, or under a heating blanket. Temperatures for this treatment are usually around 106-108°F.
At Beverly Oncology & Imaging, we prioritize patient safety and well-being above all else. We have been providing cutting edge cancer treatment for decades and are recognized as experts in our field. To discuss hyperthermia as a potential option for you, contact our facility today!
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