How Your Tumor Can Be Frozen And Destroyed Through Cyroablation
Extreme cold has the capability of destroying cancer cells. For this reason, there are multiple treatment options available using cold that can treat cancer, such as:
Liquid Nitrogen Surface Treatments
When the tumor is near the surface, a physician can apply liquid nitrogen directly to the site of the tumor using a cotton swab. However, for internal tumors, a surgeon must apply a freezing gas using a minimally invasive procedure.
Injecting Argon Gas
A surgeon inserts a thin needle through your skin into the tumor. Then, the surgeon pumps a gas through the needle into the tissue, freezing it. Then, the tissue thaws. The surgeon repeats the process until the cancer has been destroyed.
MRI and Ultrasound
Your surgeon can place the needle in the correct location thanks to an MRI or ultrasound. This allows for the surgeon to minimize the damage done to nearby tissues. The frozen tissues are damaged by a ball of ice that forms around the tip of the needle.
In the case of a large tumor, your surgeon may decide to use multiple needles to target different portions of the tumor simultaneously. Also, the needle is sometimes injected directly into the tumor. In other cases, the needle is injected into the skin near the tumor.
This treatment is only suitable for certain types of cancers. The most common types of cancers treated by cryoablation are:
- Early skin cancer
- Precancerous skin growths and conditions
Because this treatment is relatively new, it is being studied as a potential way to treat kidney, breast, and colon cancer. It is currently used to treat prostate cancer under some circumstances.
Prostate Cancer Cryoablation
Men who have early prostate cancer that is only found in the prostate may have the tumor treated using cryoablation. Men who have had both radiation therapy and cryoablation may suffer from incontinence and impotence. Usually, these side effects are temporary.
Each cancer treatment comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. With cryoablation, the procedure is not invasive or is minimally invasive. Unlike with surgery, this approach causes less damage to nearby tissues. Your physician can schedule a treatment each time the cancer is detected after it has regrown. You may not even need a hospital stay.
Cryoablation can be used in combination with another cancer treatment or by itself since this procedure does not interfere with other treatments. Using more than one treatment will increase the chances that you will be cancer free.
Contact local cancer care services for more information and assistance.