What is microwave ablation therapy for lung cancer?
Microwave ablation is a treatment option offered to patients who cannot have surgery. Ablation therapies are minimally invasive procedures that use heat to destroy cancer tumors. Guided by imaging (such as CT, ultrasound or MRI) a surgeon or interventional radiologist inserts needle-like probes into the tumors. Ablation therapies may be performed using one of three ways:
- Percutaneous. Probes are inserted through the skin to the tumors.
- Laparoscopic. Probes are inserted through tiny incisions in the skin.
The probes use microwaves to generate heat above water’s boiling point (100°C) and destroy the cancer cells.
Microwave ablation can treat multiple tumors at the same time, and may be repeated for recurrent disease.