Cryotherapy is used in the early stage of prostate cancer. This treatment kills the cancer cells by freezing them. The freezing is accomplished by inserting a freezing liquid (for example, liquid nitrogen or argon) through needles directly into the prostate gland. The procedure is accomplished under the guidance of ultrasound images.
Cryotherapy is recommended for patients with locally advanced prostate cancer who, for whatever reason, are not candidates for the more established treatments.
Advantages of Cryotherapy:
- It requires only a short hospital stay.
- It is a relatively noninvasive procedure.
Disadvantages of Cryotherapy:
- Sometimes not all of the cancer cells are destroyed.
- This treatment provides no way of knowing if the cancer is localized because the cancer cannot be pathologically staged.
- The treatment may damage the urethra and bladder, leading to potential problems with incontinence.
- You may have trouble getting an erection