DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Radiofrequency ablation for cancer is a minimally invasive procedure that uses electrical energy and heat to destroy cancer cells.
During radiofrequency ablation for cancer, imaging tests are used to guide a thin needle through the skin or through an incision and into the cancer tissue. High-frequency energy passes through the needle and causes the surrounding tissue to heat up, killing the nearby cells.
Radiofrequency ablation is sometimes used to treat cancers in the:
Radiofrequency ablation for cancer is typically an option when surgery isn't possible, such as if you have other health problems that make surgery risky or if you have several small tumors in an organ.
Radiofrequency ablation may also be an option for treating precancerous cells in the esophagus that are associated with Barrett's esophagus. Radiofrequency ablation is one of several types of ablation therapy used to treat a wide range of conditions.
March 12, 2015
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