A new cancer treatment known as Hyperthermia is quickly gaining popularity in Australia as it continues to meet a high success rate internationally. The treatment works alongside other drug treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy and permits anti-cancer drugs to perform more optimally by heating up cells. The treatment procedure is practiced in several parts of Europe and is available in three different types to treat patients with cancer.
The Procedure Of Heat Therapy
For patients who need to have a tumour treated, the procedure applies local heat therapy to target a relatively small area. This may be done either externally or internally to raise the temperature of the tumour to a point where the heat kills its cells. Local heat therapy may also heat the temperature of an affected area so that blood circulation in the region is improved which permits radiation or chemotherapy to work better.
Another type of hyperthermia uses heat therapy to heat up an organ or a limb. Here the procedure works by removing the individual’s blood, heating it and then pumping it back to heat the affected part of the body from the inside. To treat cancer that has spread to different parts of the body the treatment seeks to use warm blankets, warm water inductive coils or thermal chambers and apply heat to the whole body.
For individuals with brain tumour or other types of cancer where the tumour is strategically located and operations may not be possible, another form of heat therapy known as oncothermia is recommended. This procedure involves placing the patient in a water bed where the temperature is heated to 30 degrees.
Based on the knowledge that heating cancers makes them more sensitive, the treatment aims at allowing radiotherapy or chemptherapy to work better. While cancer cells become more sensitive to radiation through heat application, normal cells do not. This helps in preventing any serious side effects while still shrinking the tumour in the affected area. According to experts, it is believed that hyperthermia treatments double the patient’s response rate to both radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy.
The Cost Of New Treatments For Brain Tumour Patients In Australia
Relatively new in Australia, both hyperthermia and oncothermia are well established and practiced widely in Europe. Treatments can range from 3-4 week sessions with costs amounting to between $3000 and $5000.
Patients who have chosen to travel outside Australia to seek different types of heat therapy to treat their cancer can easily face expenses of up to $25,000 and above. Personal stories of patients who have travelled abroad and achieved successful results report having spent up to $50,000 and above for treatments in Europe. Many of these individuals have collected funds through extensive fundraising campaigns and lots of support from friends, family, neighbours and even social media.
However, for the multitudes who are unable to finance overseas travel for health care are dissatisfied and frustrated with the country’s medical community and services as they have to wait intolerably long periods to seek treatment or the treatment is so expensive that it is beyond access for many Australians.
Fundraising For Heat Therapy Costs
Patients undergoing treatment can experience high medical expenses and as a result, may not be able to afford the proper medical treatment needed. During a life and death situation, families can turn to online fundraising to help cover the cost of their treatment.
Individuals can create an online fundraiser for free at PeoplePledge and raise funds directly from family, friends and other social networks. The fundraiser is created online and shared through a URL link that is provided upon launching your fundraiser. Sharing your fundraiser is simple by sharing the link to friends and family on Facebook, email and word of mouth.
1. New Cancer treatment hope – hyperthermia: https://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/factsheets/article/-/12400807/new-cancer-treatment-hope-hyperthermia/
2. UOW probes success of oncothermia: http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/1708994/uow-probes-success-of-oncothermia/
3. New ‘waterbed’ treatment gives cancer patient hope: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/new-waterbed-treatment-gives-cancer-patient-hope-20130105-2ca45.html
4. Sick Australians leave country for better treatments: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/sick-australians-leave-country-for-better-treatments/story-fneuzlbd-1226708557527