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Freezing Prostate Cancer Does a Man's Body Good
Date:3/9/2009

cold gas to freeze and destroy the cancerous tissue. This minimally invasive treatment targets only the cancer itself, sparing healthy tissue in and around the prostate gland rather than destroying it, as traditional approaches do, noted the professor at the University of Central Florida. "You can go home on the same day of the procedure, and you can repeat the treatment, if needed, in later years," said Onik. Additionally, Onik presented results of a 3-D biopsy method that provides superior information on the extent and grade of prostate cancer as opposed to the current standard TRUS biopsy.

Calling focal cryoablation a "male lumpectomy" reflects the origins of this approach in the breast-sparing surgery that replaced radical mastectomy as the preferred treatment for breast cancer, said Onik. Unlike breast lumpectomy, a surgical lumpectomy for prostate cancer is not technically feasible; so to treat just a portion of the prostate, minimally invasive cryoablation is needed. Cryoablation (or cryo or cryotherapy) spares as much as possible of the prostate gland and its neurovascular bundles, limiting the side effects of bladder control problems (incontinence) and erectile dysfunction (impotence) that result from more radical prostate cancer treatments. It also represents an advantage over "watchful waiting," because all treatment options are preserved. "Any risks are fewer and lesser in intensity than surgery; so if you have the equivalent chance of cancer being cured with far less chance of having any complications, why wouldn't you choose it?" asked Onik.

"There is no question that we can eradicate prostate cancer (when that cancer has not spread to other parts of the body) by freezing it and that there is a better way to 'map' the disease," said Onik. He studied 120 men who had focal cryoablation over the past 12 years, including testing the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. Of those p
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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