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Radio-frequency Ablation Offers Hope for People With Inoperable Kidney Tumours

People with inoperable kidney and liver tumours may rely on a new, non-surgical procedure called Radio-frequency ablation (RFA), which has already been successful in treating Hollywood talent manager , Louis Bershad, after he was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in his left kidney.

The room seemed to go black, then I could only envision a long treatment journey that would likely require open surgery, and intensive chemotherapy, both of which can have complications and result in a lot of missed time from work, says the 68-year-old, whose clients include many top actors in town.

Bershad revealed that his physician discussed treatment options with him and, keeping in mind his general health, the extent and location of his tumour, and the stage of the cancer, recommended radio-frequency ablation (RFA).

I considered my options carefully and the choice was clear. I didnt want to go through an operation or the loss of my kidney, says Bershad.

The RFA procedure requires only local anaesthesia and avoids the scars and complications associated with traditional open surgery. Since the procedure does not involve cutting, it is also a viable option for individuals previously thought to be too old or sick to withstand surgery.

During RFA, an interventional radiologist carefully guides an ablation needle into the centre of the tumour using imaging techniques such as ultrasound or CT scan. The probe is connected to a radio-frequency generator that delivers alternating electrical current to the tumour producing heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes cancerous cells to shrink and die, but healthy tissue is spared because the probe cools as it is removed.

My doctor asked me to come back for an MRI in three months, so that he could make sure the tumours were gone, explained Bershad, who was diagnosed with stage II renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer that begins in t
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