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Health Topics

Salvage Cryotherapy: A Second Chance When Prostate Cancer Comes Back

By Amit Patel, MD

When it comes to prostate cancer treatment there are many different options for care. Did you know that roughly 25% of men who receive radiation treatment have a recurrence? A treatment called salvage prostate cryotherapy has become available to help treat prostate cancer reoccurrence. Salvage prostate cryotherapy can offer men a second chance as long as the cancer hasn’t spread beyond the prostate.

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy, also referred to as cryosurgery or cryoablation, is a treatment that uses cold gasses to freeze and destroy the prostate with little damage to nearby tissue. This minimally invasive treatment immediately destroys cancerous cells by causing membrane damage and cutting off the oxygen supply to this area.

What Are the Benefits to Cryotherapy?

The benefits to cryotherapy include:

  • Quick recovery
  • Minimal blood loss
  • Repeatability
  • Low morbidity
  • Low occurrence of incontinence
What Are the Side Effects of Cryotherapy?

Each patient can respond differently after undergoing salvage prostate cryotherapy. For a few days following the procedure, patients generally experience temporary swelling, soreness, or discomfort in or around the scrotum or penis. Some may also experience blood in their urine for a few days after the procedure. Other side effects may include loss of urinary control, injury to the rectum and loss of sexual function.

If you have previously received any form of radiation therapy for prostate cancer and your PSA level is rising, it is important to talk to your doctor right away to see if you would be a candidate for salvage prostate cryotherapy.

 

Topics and Subtopics: Cancer & Men's Health

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