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Hyperthermia to Treat Cancer

Hyperthermia usually is taken to mean a body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illnesses, such as fever or heat stroke. But hyperthermia can also refer to heat treatment – the carefully controlled use of heat for medical purposes. Here, we will focus on how heat is used to treat cancer.

When cells in the body are exposed to higher than normal temperatures, changes take place inside the cells. These changes can make the cells more likely to be affected by other treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Very high temperatures can kill cancer cells outright (thermal ablation), but they also can injure or kill normal cells and tissues. This is why hyperthermia must be carefully controlled and should be done by doctors who are experienced in using it.

Current instruments can deliver heat precisely, and hyperthermia is being used (or studied for use) against many types of cancer.

Read Full Article at American Cancer Society