One of the treatment options that we encourage our prostate cancer patients to consider is called focal therapy. This type of therapy is particularly popular because it destroys the cancerous cells without you having to have your entire prostate gland removed. Additionally, because this kind of procedure is done in-office, patients can go home immediately afterward; eliminating the need for a hospital stay. As a form of focal therapy, we may use a variety of treatments including cryotherapy. So, what is cryotherapy and how can it treat prostate cancer? Read on to learn more.
What Is Cryotherapy?
If you have ever had a wart or mole removed, then you may already be familiar with cryotherapy. However, rather than targeting the skin that surrounds the prostate, cryotherapy for prostate cancer is a little more complex.
To begin, one of our doctors at UTMB Radiology will use a transrectal ultrasound to guide several needs through the skin that is between the scrotum and anus. After the needles have been inserted, cold gases (typically composed of nitrogen) are then passed through the needles which freeze and destroys parts of the prostate. The doctor will carefully watch and observe the prostate and procedure with the help of the ultrasound to prevent any additional damage from occurring.
What Are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?
Unlike traditional radiation therapy or even surgery, focal therapy is particularly popular amongst our prostate cancer patients because of its ability to be so precise. Without harming the surrounding cells or tissues in the prostate, our focal therapy patients don’t have to worry about negative repercussions like incontinence.
As one of the most common forms of cancer in men over the age of 65, prostate cancer can typically be treated with radiation, surgery, or now, focal therapy. If you would like to further research your treatment options or to learn more about cryotherapy, contact UTMB Radiology today to schedule an appointment!