Radiofrequency or Microwave Ablation
Radiofrequency or microwave ablation are non-surgical minimally invasive treatments that kill abnormal tissue in cancer patients while sparing healthy tissue. The procedures are performed by Holy Name Medical Center's Interventional Radiologists, who use X-ray imaging to guide a needle into the tumor.
Radiofrequency ablation transmits electrical currents while microwave ablation sends microwave energy from the needle into the target tissues, creating heat and killing the tumor. They may be used in the treatment of bone, kidney, liver, adrenal and lung cancers and have been shown to reduce bone pain in metastatic disease in more than 90 percent of patients who were not suitable for conventional therapy.
The two types of procedures typically do not cause serious side effects so patients can normally resume their daily activities within a few days. They are often used when surgery isn’t an option.
- Helps control tumor growth or eliminate tumors, often in combination with other treatments
- Has a low complication rate
- Is often done under local sedation
- Is well tolerated – patients may be tired but they can resume regular activities within a few days
- The treatment can be repeated if necessary and combined with other types of treatments
- May relieve pain and suffering for many cancer patients