Prostate Cancer Freezing Cryotherapy – Treatment by Extreme Cold

It goes by quite a number of names – cryotherapy, cryosurgery, or cryoablation – but really there is only one thing that they all mean: treating prostate cancer by freezing.

Prostate cancer is a condition in which the normal cells in the prostate gland start to mutate suddenly and them multiply rapidly, affecting other cells, growing larger, and generally being a nuisance… a nuisance that kills if rapidly and properly taken care of. Cryotherapy is a surgical procedure in which extreme cold is applied to the prostate gland in order to freeze up the cells in it and cause them to die in the process.

The freezing temperature is obtained from a highly purified argon gas source and conducted into the prostate through two small metallic rods that have been inserted with the aid of ultrasound imaging into the organ. Because of the location of the prostate, the prostatic urethra is at risk as well from freezing over (the tube that links/leads from the bladder to the penis). In order to save it, a catheter of warm fluid is placed gingerly around it.

The temperature is dropped to the regions of – 186oC, which is the same as – 302oF. The water in the cells in the prostate freeze up at this point, and the patient is thereby cured of prostate cancer when the cells die off. It is unfortunate to think that the entire prostate would be destroyed in this way, but it is pleasant to consider that the patient now has a better ten year guarantee that the disease will not relapse than any other prostate cancer treatment can offer.

Cryosurgery generally causes fewer problems with urinary control than most other treatments that there are, but it has the sorry disappointment of resulting in impotence up to ninety percent of the time. Not pleasant at all, that. However, if the therapy is employed in the hands of an experienced cryosurgeon and in capacity as the initial treatment for prostate cancer, as mentioned earlier it has a 10 year biochemical disease free rate that is totally superior to all other treatments for prostate cancer that there are – even radical prostatectomy and any form of radiation don’t come close.

To date, cryosurgery has been demonstrated to be a better-quality procedure for the treatment of prostate cancer that recurs after a radiation therapy, than radical prostatectomy could ever be. It allows for the patient to suffer less blood loss, recover faster, and be back at work in record time. Sometimes the patient may require a night’s stay in the hospital, but only just so. The fewer incisions also makes for an aesthetically superior surgical process.

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