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Doctors use intense heat to treat cancer

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(NBC Newschannel) Owen McAndrews is 87 years old.

The World War II veteran is the first cancer patient to be treated in south Florida with the BSD-500 Hyperthermia System.

21st Century Oncology in Fort Myers is the first healthcare provider in South Florida to offer Hyperthermia treatment.

"They tried radiation about 2-3 years ago and that didn't do anything to correct it," McAndrews said.

The tumors have literally eaten away at his face.

This year doctors gave him another option to complement his radiation - the Hyperthermia System.

The machine doesn't have to be used exclusively.

Hyperthermia can be combined with chemotherapy and other methods depending on your doctor.

It's typically used with radiation to target cells radiation can not kill.

Doctors are using hyperthermia combined with radiation to treat Owen.

"The radiation kills a lot of the cells, and Hyperthermia, the heat, kills a lot of cells the radiation has trouble getting to," said Dr. Daniel Daniel Dosoretz, with 21st Century Oncology. "You will get two punches instead of one punch. That's the principle."

"It's like a microwave. They turn it on. It brings the heat," said McAndrews.

The treatment scope, for now, is limited to tumors and cancer cells close to the skin's surface.

"Today, we are limited to treat cells that we can heat close to the surface," said Dr. Dosoretz. "As we develop new equipment, we're gonna be treating deeper structures, too."

McAndrews recently completed went through what doctors hope is his 10th and final hyperthermia treatment.

For more information, click on the links below.

http://www.21stcenturyoncology.com/Physicians/Physician.aspx?ID=3d570b67-6d32-4bf0-b820-c12475f74b9a

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/15204318/2011/08/03/new-cancer-treatment-available-in-swfl

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