Salvage Cryotherapy: A Second Chance When Prostate Cancer Comes Back

When it comes to prostate can­cer treat­ment there are many dif­fer­ent options for care. Did you know that rough­ly 25 per­cent 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.