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Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affect men all over the world.  With that being said, there is a lot of attention from doctors looking to find ways to prevent or treat the cancer and prolong the life of those that are diagnosed with it.  Like breast cancer, prostate cancer is likely to be found during routine exams and might not create any symptoms that are out of the ordinary for pain your life.  Well known symptoms include pain, problems urinating and even erectile dysfunction.  Today, there are more ways to test for the cancer, including blood tests that might show if you have a raised prostate specific antigen test or concerns after your doctor performs a rectal examination.  If there is suspicion that you have prostate cancer, it can be confirmed through a Trans Rectal Ultrasound guided Biopsy.  That procedure take a small sample of the prostate tissue and is then examined under microscope.

Once your prostate cancer has been confirmed, you will have a variety of options for treating it or preventing it from growing larger.  Depending on what stage your doctor figures you are in, the treatment options might change.  On of the options that might be offered is called cryotherapy.  The treatment has been around since 1996 and is a new therapeutic procedure.  Cryotherapy can also be called cryosurgery, is a minimally invasive procedure that might be done in one day and involves the application of needles under the guidance of an ultrasound system.  Basically, the cryotherapy is going to be freezing the abnormal and diseased cells that are found inside the prostate gland.  The same type of thing is common when removing warts or moles from the skin.  The freezing of the prostate gland is done so inside the body and because the cryosurgery uses needles compared to scalpels, the surgery can be cheaper and cause less pain for the patient.

Not everyone is a good candidate for the cryotherapy.  The list of people that will not be able to go with the cryotherapy process include those with a large prostate, if you had the surgery before, if you have a disease like stenosis, if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease or if you have had pelvic surgery of any kind as the scarring could interfere with the cryotherapy procedure.  The process is quite simple and if you are lucky enough to have it as an option, that means you are in the very early stages of prostate cancer and it can be kept from growing any larger or transferring throughout the body from the prostate gland.  If you do go through the cryotherapy process, the recovery process might raise a few questions from you.

Because the cryotherapy process is quite simple and can take less than two hours to complete, the recovery process is not that long.  If fact, after the operation you may notice some swelling of the scrotum, but that is usually gone within 3 to 4 days after the procedure.  There can also be some mild bruising of the perineum, but in most cases you will be feeling good enough to mobilize the same day that you have the cryotherapy and back to your normal daily routine within the next 3 to 4 days.  Just like with any surgery, there can be side effects once the procedure is completed.  Side effects of the cryotherapy tend to be worse for men that already went through the radiation process before the cryotherapy.  That is why it is important to diagnose and start the cryotherapy first if that is the best option provided by your doctor.

 

Most of the time, men that have the cryotherapy done, have blood in their urine for a day or two.  Any longer than that and it might be time to head back to the doctor for a checkup.  General soreness around the area where the needles were used is common as well.  One of the main side effects is erectile dysfunction.  Because the process freezes the nerves and damages them, erectile dysfunction can be seen in as many as 4 out of 5 men that go through with cryotherapy.  


Richard Lotenfoe Written on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 19:30 by Richard Lotenfoe

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