Medical Minute 11-29: Turning Up the Heat on Tumors

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

Neil Diamond, Larry King, Paul Anka, Pete Sampres and Shirley McClain are some of the rich and famous clients of LA Real Estate mover and shaker Kathy Villa.

"I've been blessed with great clients."

But she doesn't let the stresses of her high profile job get to her.

"My real estate traumas don't bother me at all," she said.

That's because Villa's lived through real trauma. She had lung cancer. Surgeons removed her lower right lobe. A few months later, her left lobe. Then, another cancer found in her right lung.

"At that point, that's when they couldn't operate anymore," said Kathy Villa.

But now, Cedars-Sinai Doctor Peter Julien has a more targeted, less invasive way to kill her tumor.

"The future is here and now," said Peter J. Julien, M.D., Chief of Thoracic Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Microwaving tumors or radio-frequency tumor ablation uses a needle that's inserted into the middle of the tumor.

"It generates heat and basically cooks the tumor to death," said Peter J. Julien, M.D.

Guided by CT scans, doctors use electrical currents to heat the tumor to 160 degrees.

"The energy that creates the heat is centered around the needle tip and it does destroy some of the tissue around the tumor...which is what we want," said Peter J. Julien, M.D.

Patients can go home the same day, no scars, no pain and the best part for Kathy she was awake through it all.

"For me it was very empowering to be part of the team that is working on my body to extend my life," said Villa.

Six months later- Kathy is cancer free.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Nilou SalimpourCedars-Sinai Medical

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