Health Watch - High-Tech Medicine: Non-Surgical Treatment

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about high-tech advances in medical treatment. Surgery is usually required to remove cancerous tumors, but some tumors can be destroyed using radio waves.

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that a technique that sends radiofrequency electrical waves through a needle-like probe to heat and destroy kidney tumors is as effective as surgery to remove the tumors. This kind of tumor grows slowly but easily spreads to other organs.

Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu, a UT Southwestern urologist and radiologist, says the traditional treatment is to surgically remove the tumor and surrounding kidney tissue. There’s a risk of bleeding and other complications, as well as a long recovery time. With this technique, most patients can go home the same day. There’s also more kidney tissue preserved, which helps preserve kidney function. The three and five-year survival rates for patients treated with this technique were more than 95 percent.

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July 2010


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