Laser Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

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    Methods in Laser Therapy

    • Laser therapy consists of two methods: thermal laser therapy and photodynamic laser therapy. While thermal laser therapy makes use of heat waves to destroy cancer cells, photodynamic therapy works slightly differently. It acts in combination with drugs and light waves and makes use of photosynthetic light produced specifically to help the drug reach optimal levels of utilization in combination with oxygen. The energy it produces destroys the malignant tissue.

      The second method, shortened to PDT, is more useful in treating cases in which the cancer tissue has hardened. This is also particularly useful in treating inoperable cancer cells of the pancreas. Since this process produces homogenous delivery of light, it can be highly effective in treating cancer cells of minute dimensions.

    Procedure

    • The ideal candidate for laser therapy is one in whom the cancer tissue is localized, and whose condition is such that surgery is impossible or carries high risk. In some cases, laser therapy can be administered in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiotherapy or both, depending on the individual case.

      In most cases, the patient is given an intravenous photosynthesizing agent called meso-tetrahydroxphenyl chlorine. After three days, needles that carry laser fibers deliver light directly to the tumor penetrating the skin. These needles shrink the size of the tumor.

    Superiority of Laser Therapy

    • The American Society of Neuroradiology estimates that laser therapy can increase life expectancy in pancreatic cancer patients by more than 50 percent. Also, this method enables patients to start eating normal food less than 48 hours after the procedure. Most patients can get back home within 10 days, and spend most of their recovery time at home.

      This method is also superior to conventional methods like chemotherapy and radiotherapy because it helps destroy the maximum proportion of highly localized cancer cells without damaging underlying and neighboring areas. It also lessens the need for repeated surgeries.

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