focal cryoablation and
prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting American men. More than
230,000 men are diagnosed every year in the United States and 30,000 die from
the disease.

Men with prostate cancer typically receive one of three recommended therapies:
surgical removal of the whole organ, external beam radiation or brachytherapy.
External beam radiation consists of radiation directed at the prostate from outside
the body. The disadvantage for this technique is that healthy parts of the body
receive radiation along with the cancer. According to a recent study, external beam
radiation may trigger an almost 70 percent rise in the risk for rectal cancer. While,
brachytherapy involves using implanted radioactive seed surgery to treat the whole
prostate gland. However, the common complications of surgical removal and
brachytherapy are sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

A new non-surgical treatment for prostate cancer, which may preserve urinary and
sexual function was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 30th
Annual Scientific Meeting.  This new technique is called "male lumpectomy" - an
application of focal cryoablation. In a cryoablation procedure, the interventional
radiologist inserts a probe through the skin, using imaging to guide the needle to
the location of the tumor. The probe then circulates extremely cold gas to freeze
and destroy the tumor. Thus, it spares the healthy tissue in and around the prostate
gland.
General anesthesia is needed for the whole procedure and the patients usually can
return to normal activities within one to two weeks.
     
References

Nonsurgical Cryotherapy for Prostate Cancer, the 'Male Lumpectomy,' Preserves
Sexual and Urinary Function in Most Men, Press Release, Society of Interventional
Radiology , April 1, 2005

Radiation for Prostate Cancer May Make Rectal Cancer More Likely, Steven
Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter, April 1, 2005
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