Cryotherapy for Prostate Cancer

1 What is a Cryotherapy for Prostate Cancer?

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer is a procedure that uses cold temperature to freeze prostate tissue, causing cancer cells to die.

A minimally invasive procedure, it is sometimes used an alternative to surgical removal of the prostate gland.

This method of treatment against prostate cancer was associated with significantly higher levels of long-term side effects that other treatment methods.

Advances in technology have lowered these side effects. However, many men still experience long-term sexual dysfunction after cryotherapy for prostate cancer.

This procedure can be used to treat men who have early-stage prostate cancer. It can also be an option for men whose has recurred after other treatments.

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2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to receive a cryotherapy for prostate cancer.

Cryotherapy freezes, which leads to the death of prostate cancer cells. Your doctor may recommend cryotherapy for prostate cancer as an option at different times during your cancer treatment and for different reasons.

Cryotherapy may be recommended: As the main treatment for cancer, usually for early-stage cancer that is confined to your prostate. After another cancer treatment method has failed and cancer has recurred.

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer is not generally recommended for me who:

  • Have normal sex function.
  • Have had previous surgery or rectal or anal cancer.
  • Have prostates that cannot be monitored with an ultrasound probe during the procedure.
  • Have large amounts of tumors that cannot be treated using cryotherapy without bringing damage to the surrounding tissue and organs, such as the rectum or bladder.

3 Potential Risks

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer has a number of potential risks, which include:

  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Pain and swelling of the scrotum and penis.
  • Blood in your urine.
  • Loss of bladder control.
  • Frequent, difficult or painful urination.

Bleeding infection in the treated area. The rare side effects include:

  • Injury to the rectum.
  • Infection or inflammation of the pubic bone.
  • Blockage of the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body).

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In preparing for your cryotherapy for prostate cancer, you must follow your doctor’s orders.

A fluid solution (enema) to empty your colon may be recommended by your doctor. He or she can give you antibiotics to prevent infection during the procedure.

5 What to Expect

Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your cryotherapy for prostate cancer.

During cryotherapy for prostate cancer. This procedure is performed in a hospital, you may be given a general anesthetic, or only the surgical area will be numbed with a local or regional anesthetic.

Once your anesthesia has taken effect, your doctor will proceed to do the following:

  • Place an ultrasound probe inside your rectum.
  • Places a catheter inside your urethra (the tube that is responsible for transporting urine and semen out of your body). The catheter is filled with a warming solution to prevent the urethra from freezing during the treatment.
  • Inserts several thin metal probes or needles through the area between the scrotum and the anus (perineum) into the prostate.
  • Watches the images that are produced by the ultrasound probe to make sure the needles were placed properly.
  • Releases argon gas to circulate through the probes or needles, cooling them and freezing nearby prostate tissue.
  • Monitors and controls the temperature of the needles and the amount of freezing within the prostate gland.
  • May place a catheter into your bladder through your lower abdomen to assist in draining urine after the cryotherapy.

After cryotherapy for prostate cancer. You will be able to go home on the day of your procedure, or in some case, spend a night.

The catheter may be required to remain in place for about two weeks in order to facilitate healing. You might be also given an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Cryotherapy for prostate cancer usually results in little blood loss.

You may experience the following:

  • Soreness and bruising for several days in places where the rods were inserted.
  • Blood in your urine for several days.
  • Problems emptying your bladder and bowels, which usually resolves with time.
  • Sexual dysfunction, which may include impotence, is common after cryotherapy for prostate cancer.

6 Procedure Results

You will have to go for follow-up exams and imaging scans and lab testing to check your procedure results to treatment after the cryotherapy for prostate cancer.

The method of cryotherapy for prostate cancer that is currently used employs ultrasound guidance, newer-technology cryotherapy probes ad also strict temperature monitoring has only been in use for several years.

The long-term outcomes from this procedure are not yet known.