Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer
BY MARK SCHOLZ, MD Selecting treatment for prostate cancer is complex. Start by taking the Staging Quiz (keytopc.com). This is the first-step to understanding proper management. Once you know your …
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Cryotherapy is accomplished by circulating liquid argon through small hollow needles inserted into the prostate to create an expanding ice-ball at the tip of the needle. The size of the ice ball is controlled by adjusting the flow rate of the argon. Originally, cryotherapy was used for freezing the whole prostate. However, the popularity of whole-prostate cryotherapy is limited because impotence occurs 90% of the time. Therefore, whole-gland cryotherapy is reserved for men that have nothing to lose in this regard – the ones with preexisting impotence. Whole-gland cryotherapy is done in the hospital and requires a urinary catheter for a few days after the procedure. If there has been no previous radiation the risk of incontinence is about 5%. The risk is much higher in men who have had previous radiation. Rarely, cryotherapy can cause an opening between the bladder and rectum, a fistula, which in some cases can be very difficult to correct. This complication is more common in men who have had previous radiation.