Laser therapy uses a very narrow, focused beam of light to shrink or destroy cancer cells. It can be used to cut out tumors without damaging other tissue.
Laser therapy is often given through a thin, lighted tube that is put inside the body. Thin fibers at the end of the tube direct the light at the cancer cells. Lasers are also used on the skin.
Laser therapy can be used to:
Lasers are most often used with other types of cancer treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy.
Some of the cancers laser therapy can treat include:
The most common lasers for treating cancer are:
Compared to surgery, laser therapy has some benefits. Laser therapy:
The downsides of laser therapy are:
American Cancer Society website. Lasers in cancer treatment. www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/lasers-in-cancer-treatment.html. Updated May 4, 2020. Accessed December 6, 2021.
Garrett CG, Reinisch L, Fletcher KC. Laser surgery: basic principles and safety considerations. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Francis HW, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 59.
National Cancer Institute website. Lasers in cancer treatment. www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/surgery/lasers-fact-sheet. Updated June 16, 2021. Accessed December 6, 2021.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/28/2021
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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