January 13, 2010 (CHICAGO) --
When you think about microwaves, you think about cooking. But now the same technique is being used to kill cancer. Specifically, kidney cancer. Doctors say it's an alternative to surgery called radio-frequency ablation. It uses a needle that's inserted into the middle of the tumor. Doctors use electrical currents to essentially cook the tumor to death.
"It's very intense energy that can heat up the tumor -- over 150 degrees -- it can heat up the tumor basically to boiling," said Dr. Peter Julien, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Doctors say there's no incision and patients can go home the same day.
The procedure is also being used for cancers of the liver and lungs.