Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that can often be performed as a same-day outpatient procedure. If the cancer is limited to a portion of the prostate, your physician may be able to freeze only the cancerous tissue while the remaining gland stays healthy. If cancer is found throughout the prostate your physician may choose to freeze the entire gland.
During the procedure, your physician inserts thin probes into the prostate. Guided by ultrasound imaging, the tip of a probe is precisely positioned near the cancerous tissue. Argon gas is then circulated inside the probe to generate a teardrop of ice that is cold enough to freeze all of the cancer cells.
Cryotherapy is an effective primary treatment for those who are in the early stages of prostate cancer with low risk for tumor extension. This treatment may also be an excellent alternative for those who are not good candidates for radical prostatectomy. Cryotherapy may be used if EBRT fails and the cancerous prostate cells are deemed radioresistant.