An executive with prostate cancer might dread the consequences of a long recovery from the seeming inevitability of surgery. That executive would like a treatment method that guaranteed a quick recovery. If that executive were to express his concerns to a physician he might hear these words: “Cryosurgery, treat your cancer using a cryoprobe.”
Why would a physician utter those words: “Cryosurgery, treat your cancer using a cryoprobe”? Why might he favor that treatment over conventional surgery or radiation therapy? What is cryosurgery?
When a surgeon performs a cryosurgical procedure, he makes a very small incision on the surface of the skin. The surgeon then puts a cryprobe into that small incision. The cryprobe has the ability to freeze and kill cells. The surgeon guides the cryoprobe to the location of the malignancy.
Because cryosurgery allows the surgeon to make a very small incision, it is much less invasive than conventional surgery. A man who undergoes cryosurgery in order to treat prostate cancer has lowered his risk for developing ED. He has also shortened the time for his recovery from surgery.
Is there any time when a man with prostate cancer should not be told “Cryosurgery, treat your cancer using a cryoprobe”? Actually, there is. If a man were using a garlic supplement to ease concerns about cholesterol, then his physician should not schedule immediate cryosurgery. Use of garlic can increase chances for bleeding after any type of surgery.
Is there any word of warning that should be given to the patient who is told, “Cryosurgery, treat your cancer using a cryoprobe”? That question must also be answered in the affirmative.
Before a man agrees to undergo cryosurgery he should know that the killing of the visible cancer cells does not destroy any very small cells, cells not picked-up by any sort of X-ray or imaging equipment. A man who has had cryosurgery might need to undergo follow-up treatment. He might need to receive radiation or chemotherapy.
Following cryosurgery, any tiny cells that had escaped the cryoprobe would begin to divide. Their division would lead to formation of a new tumor. Only a supplemental treatment, using radiation or cancer –fighting chemicals could prevent development of a second tumor.
Once a prostate cancer patient has all the facts then he can tell his doctor how he would feel most comfortable dealing with the tumor in his prostate gland. That man might choose cryosurgery, or he might elect to have his prostate tumor treated in some other fashion.
Once the tumor has been removed, then the patient must carefully watch for any detectable signs of new cancer growth.