Radio waves give relief to girl with bone cancer

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Kottayam: Ushering in cutting-edge technology in cancer care, the Medical College Hospital here has cured a teenage girl of bone cancer using radio waves, whereby the malignant cells are destroyed by the heat generated by these waves. The 16-year-old Kurichi native girl was treated with the help of state-of-the-art Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) machine, costing close to Rs 25 lakh, imported from the US.

The class XII student was admitted to the General Hospital here after she complained of pain in her legs, but later she was referred to the Medical College Hospital. After a detailed diagnosis, Dr Nishara Mohammed of the hospital’s Orthopaedic Department found the girl having a 3mm tumour on her bone.

Following advice from Dr M A Thomas, head of the Orthopaedic Department, the medical team geared up to give relief to the girl through RFA treatment, and the scanning room of the Radiodiagnostics Department was converted into a mini operation theatre for the purpose. Usually, treatment for bone cancer is complicated involving surgeries and the recuperation period is also pretty long.

But through this new way of treatment, a small needle is inserted into the affected area, like administering an injection, and no incisions are made. The needle will destroy the cancer cells and the patient can leave the hospital in a couple of days.

The RFA treatment can cost close to Rs 1.5 lakh in private sector hospitals, but the girl’s medical bills at the Medical College Hospital amounted to just around Rs 50,000 as she was covered under the state’s health insurance scheme.

The treatment was given under the watchful eyes of Radiodiagnostics Department head Dr L Jayasree, Dr A Praveeen and Dr K Sajitha; Orthopaedics Department chief Dr A M Thomas, Dr Nishara Mohammed and Dr Hari; and Anesthaesia Department head Dr Murali Krishnan. 

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