A diagnosis of prostate cancer (CaP) can be life-altering. It is estimated that men have a 1 in 6 lifetime chance of developing this disease. Many men will be given a diagnosis of localized CaP. This consist of low and moderate risk disease. CaP is usually slow growing, and there are a number of treatment choices available. The diagnosis can raise many questions like which treatment would be the best option for me?
Men diagnosed with low to moderate risk disease will many times be offered active surveillance. This option consists of close long-term monitoring with frequent PSA tests and periodic re-biopsies. Some men may feel uncomfortable living with a malignant disease. Cryotherapy of the prostate is a proven FDA approved option that can provide a potentially curative minimally invasive treatment with less significant side effects when compared to other CaP therapies.
Cryotherapy, (also called cryoablation) uses very cold temperatures (-40 C) to freeze and kill prostate cancer cells on contact. It is performed in my office under local anesthesia. Small probes are placed in the prostate with ultrasound guidance. Argon gas is delivered through the probes to freeze and helium gas is used to warm the tissue. A warming catheter is placed in the bladder during the procedure to protect the urethra.
Men with low to moderate risk disease may only have a few areas of Cap on their biopsy report. Focal prostate cryotherapy precisely targets only these areas, sparing the rest of the non-cancerous prostate tissue. This precision treatment can potentially limit significant side effects. The procedure typically lasts less than an hour. A foley catheter will be placed at the end of the procedure and will be left in place for at least one week during the recovery.
- CaP found on one side of the biopsy report
- Total PSA < 10ng/ml
- No more than 30% cancer in any core
- Only Adenocarcinoma of the prostate
- No more then 25% cores positive for CaP
- Gleason score 6 (3+3) or Gleason score 7 (3+4)
- Ideal for active surveillance patients who may seek definitive cure
- Men who wish to preserve sexual function