Cryotherapy for prostate cancer

May 23, 2024
Discover the benefits and risks of cryotherapy for prostate cancer, a minimally invasive treatment using extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. Learn what to expect from the procedure and recovery in our detailed post.

Cryotherapy is an innovative treatment option for prostate cancer that uses extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. In this blog post, we'll explore how cryotherapy works, its benefits, potential risks, and what patients can expect from the procedure. Let's delve into this modern approach to prostate cancer treatment.

What is Cryotherapy?

  1. Definition: Cryotherapy, also known as cryosurgery or cryoablation, involves freezing and destroying cancerous tissue in the prostate using liquid nitrogen or argon gas.

  2. How It Works: During the procedure, needles or probes are inserted into the prostate gland. These probes deliver extremely cold temperatures to the targeted area, causing the cancer cells to freeze and die. The procedure is typically guided by ultrasound to ensure precision.

Benefits of Cryotherapy:

  1. Minimally Invasive: Cryotherapy is less invasive than traditional surgery, involving small incisions and reduced recovery time. This makes it an appealing option for many patients.

  2. Outpatient Procedure: Cryotherapy can often be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home the same day.

  3. Targeted Treatment: The procedure targets only the affected areas, preserving healthy prostate tissue and reducing the risk of side effects.

  4. Repeatable: Cryotherapy can be repeated if cancer recurs, providing an additional treatment option without significantly increasing risks.

Potential Risks and Side Effects:

  1. Urinary Issues: Some patients may experience urinary incontinence or difficulty urinating post-procedure. These issues are typically temporary but can be bothersome.

  2. Erectile Dysfunction: Cryotherapy can affect the nerves responsible for erections, potentially leading to erectile dysfunction. Discussing this risk with your doctor is important before proceeding.

  3. Swelling and Pain: Swelling, bruising, and pain in the treatment area are common but usually subside within a few weeks.

What to Expect During and After Cryotherapy:

  1. Procedure: Cryotherapy is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. The entire procedure typically takes about 1-2 hours. Patients may feel some discomfort, but pain management strategies are available.

  2. Recovery: Recovery time is shorter compared to traditional surgery. Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days to a week. Follow-up appointments are essential to monitor progress and manage any side effects.

  3. Follow-Up Care: Regular PSA testing and check-ups are crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and to detect any signs of recurrence early.

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer is a promising treatment option, offering a minimally invasive approach with targeted results. While it comes with potential risks, its benefits make it a viable choice for many patients. Understanding the procedure, benefits, and risks can help you make an informed decision about your prostate cancer treatment.

To learn more about cryotherapy or discuss if it’s the right option for you, contact us today.