DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Cryotherapy for prostate cancer freezes prostate tissue, causing cancer cells to die. As a minimally invasive procedure, cryotherapy for prostate cancer is sometimes used as an alternative to surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy).
In the past, cryotherapy for prostate cancer was associated with significantly higher levels of long-term side effects than were other prostate cancer treatments. Advances in the technology of cryotherapy for prostate cancer have reduced these side effects. Most men, however, still experience long-term sexual dysfunction following cryotherapy for prostate cancer.
Cryotherapy for prostate cancer is most often used in men who have early-stage prostate cancer. But cryotherapy for prostate cancer may also be a treatment option in some men whose prostate cancer has returned following other treatments.
- Shelley M, et al. Cryotherapy for localized prostate cancer (Review). The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005010.pub2/abstract. Accessed March 4, 2013.
- Bozzini G, et al. Focal therapy of prostate cancer: Energies and procedures. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations. 2012. In press. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Pisters LL, et al. Cryotherapy and other ablative techniques for the initial treatment of prostate cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Prostate cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/index. Accessed March 4, 2013.
- Cryoablation for prostate cancer. Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=108. Accessed March 4, 2013.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 9, 2013.