Hyperthermia is, by definition, the condition of having a body temperature
greatly above normal; it is
not to be confused with
hypothermia, known as having a body temperature below normal. The average body temperature
for human beings is 98.6 °F, or 37°C. Body temperature is crucial
in maintaining health because many of the vital life functions carried
out within your body are “possible only between certain narrowly
defined limits of temperature. Cold inhibits and excessive heat suspends
them. Body heat is energy. It is employed not just in resisting cold,
but also in accelerating cellular activities.” Science classes in school often taught us that bad things happen when
our homeostasis, including internal body temperature, is disrupted. However,
this is not always true.
Can positive things happen to our body when heat and high temperatures
are purposefully utilized in strategic ways?
Treating Cancer with Hyperthermia
Hyperthermia, or an elevated temperature, is used to treat cancer by damaging
or destroying tumors using heat. Specifically, “during a hyperthermia
treatment, the cancerous tumor is heated to a temperature between 40 and
45°C (104 -113° F) for a certain period of time. Since cancer
cells can’t tolerate high temperatures as well as healthy cells,
parts of the cancer cells can become damaged by the heat.”
Hyperthermia is most frequently, and most reliably, performed through two methods:
- Local Hyperthermia
- Regional Hyperthermia
Both local and regional hyperthermia treatments are effective and beneficial
to fighting cancer, as they each utilize high temperatures to “damage
and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues.
By killing cancer cells and damaging proteins and structures within cells,
hyperthermia may shrink tumors.”
It is important to note that “numerous clinical trials have studied
hyperthermia in combination with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
These studies have focused on the treatment of many types of cancer, including
sarcoma, melanoma, and cancers of the head and neck, brain, lung, esophagus,
breast, bladder, rectum, liver, appendix, cervix, and peritoneal lining
(mesothelioma). Many of these studies, but not all, have shown a significant
reduction in tumor size when hyperthermia is combined with other treatments.”3
Local hyperthermia treatment occurs when “Very high temperatures
are used to kill the cancer cells and destroy nearby blood vessels. In
effect, this cooks the area that is exposed to the heat. And, as with
cooking, the higher the temperature and duration of exposure, the greater
the effect seen within tissues.” During local hyperthermia treatments, “different types of energy
may be used to apply heat, including microwave, radiofrequency, and ultrasound,”
so the treatment is adjustable to your specific medical condition, with
regard to your doctors’ discretion, as well as the location of the tumor.3
For example, local hyperthermia may be applied externally, primarily to
tumors that “are in or just below the skin. External applicators
are positioned around or near the appropriate region, and energy is focused
on the tumor to raise its temperature.”3
Local hyperthermia can also be used to treat tumors within or near body
cavities, as well as those that are deep within the body.
Regional hyperthermia differs from local hyperthermia in that heat is applied
to large areas of tissue, such as a limb, organ, or other body cavity
One “approach to regional hyperthermia is
deep tissue hyperthermia. This treatment uses devices that are placed on the surface
of the organ or body cavity and produce high energy waves directed at
a certain area. These devices give off radiofrequency or microwave energy
to heat the area being treated.”4
Another way in which regional hyperthermia treatment is utilized is through
“external applicators, [which] are positioned around the body cavity
or organ to be treated, and microwave or radiofrequency energy is focused
on the area to raise its temperature.”3
Hyperthermia and You
Hyperthermia is an advanced treatment that requires the utmost attention
to detail because the body is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in internal
temperature, which can alter the homeostatic normality within the body.
Hyperthermia treatment is also implemented in a range of techniques locally
and regionally, thus making the treatment flexible to your specific medical
circumstance as part of your overall treatment plan.
CMN Hospital proudly offers hyperthermia in conjunction with our other
treatments; to learn more about other treatments offered click
here and to learn more about our hyperthermia treatment, contact us
 “The Importance of Body Temperature.” Raw Food Explained.
 “Hyperthermia.” Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
 “Hyperthermia in Cancer Treatment.” National Cancer Institute.
 “Hyperthermia to Treat Cancer.” American Cancer Society.