New research for breast cancer

Each year, 230,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.

One-in-six of those will die, but if detected early, a new treatment from Sweden could have patients in and out of the hospital and cancer-free on their lunch break.

For 17 years, Gunilla Pilo enjoyed a challenging career planning dinners for the Nobel Prize held here each year at city hall in Stockholm, Sweden.

But after retiring last year, she faced a bigger challenge. Doctors found a cancerous tumor in her breast.

She enrolled in a research study on a new technique to kill breast tumors -- known as preferential radio frequency ablation or PRFA, the brain child of Professor Hans Wiksell.

Hans Wiksell Professor of Medical Technology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden says, "As soon as you have done, it you can say to the patient that now the tumor cannot spread anymore."

The goal is to catch it at an early stage.

Karin Leifland, MD, PHD mammography physician and head of the Unilabs mammography department at Capio St. Göran´s hospital in Stockholm, "Those women, if we can get them to go through minimally invasive therapy instead of surgery, it will help them a lot."

Here's how it works: doctors place a thin electrode guided by ultrasound into the tumor. The tumor is then heated to 167 degrees, killing it and leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed.

Hans Wiksell says, "The DNA and other things inside dies, so it could not live anymore, it could not divide anymore."

The non-invasive surgery can be done in an hour, with no scars and no recovery time.

Because of PRFA, Gunilla's now cancer-free and enjoying the beauty around her.

Researchers at Karolinska University and Saint Goran Hospital in Sweden are continuing their study of PRFA with elderly women who, because of their age, are often not fit for surgery.

So far, the technique has worked 100 percent of the time for this population.


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