Wednesday, February 4, 2009
The U-C-San Diego Medical Center has become the first hospital in the region to offer microwave technology as a way to attack liver cancer. KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge has more.
There are many ways to fight liver cancer. But doctors say the the use of microwaves is among the most effective. And now UCSD is offering that alternative to local cancer patients. Dr. Marquis Hart is a professor of surgery at UCSD. He says microwaves, just like the ones in your oven, are delivered to the tumor through a needle that's inserted into the liver. Hart says the waves generate heat to kill the cancer cells, and they can do it without harming healthy tissue.
Hart: Because it's specifically directed at that particular tumor so it doesn't destroy the surrounding liver tissue, which we are relying upon to continue to function.
Hart says the incidence of liver cancer has doubed in just three decades, due to higher rates of hepititus C and liver cirrhocis that's related to obesity. So far, he says UCSD has treated about 15 people with microwave technology so far. Tom Fudge, KPBS News.