22/11/2011 11:03 GMT

Boiling Breast Cancer Tumours Kills Them In Minutes, Discover Experts

A new treatment for breast cancer has been discovered after scientists found that breast tumours can be killed in minutes - by boiling them.

The latest treatment, known as Preferential Radio-Frequency Ablation, uses a targeted electrical current that heats, or 'boils' the tumour to 70 to 90c (160 to 190f).

The researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that the cancer cell dies within 10 minutes of the heated treatment.

The treatment uses a thin, needle-like electrode, which is inserted into the breast. An electric current is sent through the electrode to heat the tumour, killing it while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. The patient will only need one treatment and will require regular MRI scans and mammograms to check that the tumour has returned.

"It's like boiling an egg," explains radiologist Dr Karin Leifland from the study.

"The tumour is heated to such an extent that the cancer cells are killed off, while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed.

"The treatment is suitable mainly for women with tumours which are smaller than 2cm and are contained in a single lump. There is no pain or scar afterwards and within minutes of the treatment, women can leave the hospital and go home or back to work," Dr. Leifland added.