Cryotherapy for Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme icy temperatures to freeze and destroy cancer tissues and cells. Cryotherapy is also used to treat skin tumors, pre-cancerous skin moles, nodules, skin tags, unsightly freckles and retinoblastoma. Cryotherapy is also being used to treat tumors in other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, bones, lungs, and breasts. During the treatment, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is applied to diseased cells in the body. Doctors use image guidance techniques such as ultra sound, computed tomography or magnetic resonance as a guide during the process.
The prostrate gland plays a key role in the reproduction process. The gland secretes seminal fluid that combines with sperm to make semen. As a man ages, the prostrate becomes the target of several diseases; prostate cancer being one of them. Cryotherapy is used for treatment of prostate cancer.
During the treatment, an ultra thin metal probe is inserted into the prostate gland. This is done through an incision that lies between the anus and scrotum. Visual information produced by ultra sound is used as a guide during the process. The freezing liquid is infused through the probe into the prostate gland. The freezing liquid rapidly extracts heat from the gland, that instantaneous swells ice crystals resulting in the rupture of cell membranes. This is how the diseased cells and tissues get destroyed.
The doctor uses the images from the ultra sound to identify the cancer tissue and to limit damage to the normal prostate tissue.