Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Kristen Lindvall, PA-C


An aging population means an inevitable increase in cancer diagnoses, and thus, a novel solution is needed to address this looming problem. Within the field of breast cancer, thermal ablation has emerged as a promising alternative to surgical excision. As a minimally invasive treatment, it significantly reduces the morbidity and mortality for geriatric patients, as well as healthcare costs overall.

The purpose of this analysis is to understand the utility of thermal ablation for the treatment of invasive ductal carcinoma. Specifically in the context of elderly patients, it is determined if this treatment modality is superior to traditional breast conserving surgery.

A comprehensive literature review was conducted using Augsburg University Lindell Library database, Google Scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect and Wiley Online Library using the search terms breast cancer, percutaneous thermal ablation, cryoablation, radiofrequency ablation, high-intensity focused ultrasound, microwave ablation, laser ablation, histopathology, margin evaluation and geriatric. Inclusion criteria was studies published after 2015 using thermal ablation as primary treatment of breast cancer. Exclusion criteria were studies published prior to 2015 and patients were provided neoadjuvant therapy.

Cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation are the most effective in achieving complete tumor ablation and preventing local recurrence. Laser ablation, microwave ablation and high-intensity frequency ultrasound are in their infancy of development and warrant further research.

Thermal ablation is a reasonable alternative to surgical excision in the elderly and those unsuitable for surgery. Application of these techniques will be crucial to meet the healthcare demand of an aging population in the near future.


SC 11.PAS.2022.Ducharme.D

Included in

Oncology Commons