In a nutshell
This study looks at the effect of cryotherapy on intermediate-risk prostate cancer. It concluded that it could improve the cancer with lessened side effects.
Prostate cancer is an uncontrolled growth of the cells which make up the prostate gland. It can be treated by medication, surgery or radiation. Medication aims to kill the prostate cancer cells chemically. Surgery aims to cut out the cancerous prostate tissue. Radiation therapy uses radio waves to kill the cancerous prostate tissue.
Cryotherapy is another prostate cancer treatment. It can have less side effects than common prostate cancer treatments. It uses cold temperatures to freeze and kill the cancer cells. Cryotherapy has not been tested in patients with intermediate-risk cancer.
Methods & findings
112 patients with prostate cancer were included in the study. These patients were receiving cryotherapy. In all patients, the cancer was confined to the prostate gland. Patients had hormone tests every 3-6 months in the first year. They had hormone tests every 6 months after the first year. Patients had MRI scans 12 months after cryotherapy. If hormone test results were suspicious, patients had biopsies and MRI scans. Complications and quality of life were assessed by questionnaires.
At 3 years after cryotherapy, 90.5% of patients didn't have anymore cancer. 5 patients had prostate removal surgery, 4 had radiotherapy and 4 started regular chemical therapy. At 3 months after cryotherapy, 6% of patients were incontinent. 0% of patients were incontinent at 6 months after therapy. 83.8% of patients had erections and were capable of sexual intercourse after therapy. 27.8% of patients had complications. These included: retaining urine, urinary tract infections, penile numbing or swelling, a swollen scrotum and pelvic bone infection.
The bottom line
This study concluded that cryotherapy was effective in treating intermediate-risk prostate cancer. It also concluded that it had reduced side effects.
The fine print
The authors note that relying on scans to diagnose cancer coming back may result in some cancer being unseen.
If you are would like to learn more about cryotherapy to treat prostate cancer, talk to your doctor.
Published By :
Jan 08, 2019
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