Formally, hyperthermia has always been known as the process to increase one’s body temperature to a higher level than normal. It is often characterized by fever or some associate it with heatstroke. However, the evolution of hyperthermia has resulted in an ideal treatment for cancer for the way it kills the deadly tumor cells.
As we are here to dive deep into how the process cures cancer, we are also going to list the factors that altogether make whole-body hyperthermia the right kind of treatment.
How Does Hyperthermia Work?
In hyperthermia, the tissues of our bodies are heated to as high as 113°F. This helps in killing the cancer cells with little or no harm to the normal tissues. There are different types of techniques used to create heat for hyperthermia treatment which include:
- Probes making energy from microwaves
- Heating fluids like blood or chemotherapy drugs to put inside the body.
- Placing the body in a heated chamber, hot water bath, or wrapping it with heated blankets.
Usually, hyperthermia is used with other forms of cancer treatment like radiation therapy and chemotherapy. During the treatment, doctors first numb the treatment area and then insert small probes with tiny thermometers into the tumor. Thermometers, closely watch the temperature of the tumor and nearby tissue, and the imaging techniques, such as CT scans, are used to ensure that probes are in the proper place.
Types of hyperthermia treatment
There are three major types of hyperthermia treatment that target some or all parts of the body.
With this treatment, doctors focus on a single tumor or other small areas. The heat is applied either from outside or inside the body with a thin, heated wire probe.
There are also different types of energies used for the purpose including microwave, radiofrequency, and ultrasound. The magnitude of the tumor determines the approach doctors take in local hyperthermia.
This type is specifically used to target an organ or limb. The doctors use a device that produces a lot of heat and then places it over the targeted region. Furthermore, a process called profusion may also be applied in which your blood could be removed, heated, and then pumped into the affected region.
The profusion technique is typically reserved for melanoma or cancer in your liver or lungs. It is also accompanied by anticancer drugs. All of this is a part of the internal targeting technique.
Whole Body Hyperthermia
This one targets your whole body and there are chances that your doctor may use warm water blankets, and place you in a thermal room or chamber for the extra heat. In this treatment, your whole body is heated and targeted to kill cancer cells.
Overall, doctors usually only suggest hyperthermia treatment in cases where cancer has recurred. If your body finds it difficult to bear a second full course of radiation therapy then you most definitely need hyperthermia treatment. Moreover, pairing the two types of therapies can kill your cancer cells.
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