I’ve been following hyperthermia treatment for breast cancer for a number of years. Everything I’ve been reading about it is quite promising.
Hyperthermia for cancer treatment is well explained in this article from the National Cancer Institute.
Hyperthermia is the heating of body tissues (usually a tumor) to high temperatures (up to 113°F) to damage and kill cancer cells.
It is not considered to be a stand-alone treatment – hyperthermia is almost always used together with other forms of cancer therapy, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The interesting thing is that adding hyperthermia to pre-operative chemotherapy and radiotherapy has been shown to increase a patient’s response rates more so than chemotherapy or radiotherapy alone.
Hyperthermia and Radiotherapy May Make A Powerful Combination
Scientists are discovering that hyperthermia may make some cancer cells more sensitive to radiation and that’s why the two are generally used together – they are often given within an hour of each other.
According to Hyperthermia For Locally Advanced Breast Cancer, an article on the NCBI website, hyperthermia has been “quite effective in the treatment of chest wall recurrences of breast cancer.” This is quite an extensive article on hyperthermia and definitely worth reading.
Hyperthermia and Chemotherapy – Another Powerful Combination
In addition to the research mentioned above, scientists in China recently published an article showing that short-term hyperthermia promoted paclitaxel (a popular breast cancer drug) in its suppression of cell proliferation.
Be sure to read Hyperthermia for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer (see link above) to see how chemotherapy is being utilized in unison with hyperthermia. Pretty exciting research!
Side Effects of Hyperthermia?
There can be some side effects associated with heating body tissues but they appear to be minimal, usually small burns, blisters, discomfort, or pain – all of which are quite manageable and temporary.
There is a down-side, but only as it relates to the inability of many patients to access this form of therapy. The NCBI article specifically mentions: “The lack of widespread access to institutions with the experience to perform hyperthermia is a critical barrier to such trials and needs to be addressed.”
If hyperthermia interests you, ask your oncologist about it. Remember the old adage “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. If more patients start asking for this type of therapy, we improve our chances of getting more facilities offering it.
The Bicher Cancer Institute in Los Angeles utilizes hyperthermia – check out their interesting You Tube video discussing it. I respected Dr Bicher’s strong suggestion that even after treatment a woman must be vigilant and have quarterly exams.
I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.