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New surgery in head and neck cancer

Actuating heat to destroy cancerous tissue assists patients with advanced head and neck cancer. Radiofrequency ablation involves the use of heat to destroy malignant tissue. Including liver tumours, it has been used to effect in varied tumour types. Now researchers at Montefiore Medical Center, New York, report// the primary use of radiofrequency ablation in head and neck cancer. The group of patients were not candidates for standard surgery and, in some, the tumour size was so large they could not close their mouths.

After treatment, there was a considerable decrease in pain and discomfort. Radiofrequency ablation was able to control the cancer locally, with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. So far results have been reported on just four patients, but the trial is ongoing.


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