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another breakthrough for the cure of cancer.

Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) is the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. 

Liquid nitrogen - Cryogun used to spray liquid nitrogen

A common method of freezing lesions is using liquid nitrogen as the cooling solution. The super-cooled liquid may be sprayed on the diseased tissue, circulated through a tube called a cryoprobe, or simply dabbed on with a cotton or foam swab.

Carbon Dioxide - Less frequently, doctors use carbon dioxide "snow" formed into a cylinder or mixed with acetone to form a slush that is applied directly to the treated tissue.

Argon - Recent advances in technology have allowed for the use of argon gas to drive ice formation using a principle known as the Joule-Thomson effect. This gives physicians excellent control of the ice, and minimizing complications using ultra-thin 17 gauge cryoneedles.

Dimethyl ether - propane - A mixture of dimethyl ether and propane is used in some preparations such as Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away. The mixture is stored in an aerosol spray type container at room temperature and drops to −41 °C (−42 °F) when dispensed. The mixture is often dispensed into a straw with a cotton-tipped swab.

Cryosurgery for Breast Cancer

In contrast to other techniques used to treat breast cancer, cryosurgery leaves the shell of the cancer cells intact. This allows the immune system to clean up the area, exposing the tumor proteins to the white blood cells.

And by exposing the immune system to the tumor, it may help prevent cancer from returning or spreading to other parts of the body - a common occurrence in breast cancer patients who are diagnosed after the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or beyond.

"I'm hoping that by freezing the tumor, the immune system will learn to recognize cancer and go out and destroy cancer in other parts of the body, the same way it looks for bacteria or viruses with certain proteins," says Michael Sabel, M.D., a surgical oncologist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Cryosurgery is also used to destroy abnormal cervical cells and correct problems with inflammation or chronic discharge. In addition, cryosurgery has been used to treat tumors in the liver and benign lesions in the breast.

However, the effectiveness of cryosurgery as a treatment for breast cancer is still being investigated by the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, a trial is underway at the Center with women who are in the early stages of breast cancer.

Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer

Cryosurgery for prostate cancer is also known as cryotherapy and cryoablation. In this latest type of surgery, needles are used to administer gases inside your prostate. These gases can freeze your tumor.

The freezing process kills the tumor in your prostate by forming ice crystals inside the cancerous cells until the tumor is frozen and dehydrated. Another benefit of subjecting your prostate to a freezing temperature of -140 degrees Celsius is it pushes your body to produce more anti-bodies. These anti-bodies help destroy the cancer.

Is cryosurgery effective for all stages of prostate cancer? As of today, this type of treatment is only recommended for early stage prostate cancer and when radical prostatectomy is out of the question and...
the cancer has recurred after radiation and is already resistant to radiation.

Cryosurgery for Lung Cancer

Dr. Omar Maiwand and his team from Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust have found Cryosurgery effective in removing tumor in lung cancer patients. The Harefield team has so far operated 16 patients using this freezing technology. Cryosurgery is undergone in patients where conventional surgical removal of tumor mass is not possible. It is estimated that about 20% of patients removing the diseased lung is not possible due to severe breathing problems for whom Cryosurgery would be helpful.

The cryosurgery procedure involves making a cut of about 12 cm in the chest wall so the probe can be advanced directly onto the tumour which makes the tumor in to an ice ball. Liquid nitrogen is used as a coolant to freeze the tumour, which then disintegrates within the body over the next three to six month - which the scientists do not think is dangerous, with patients so far having good results. The surgery is less invasive than the conventional way and the recovery time is typically shorter - patients treated with the direct pulmonary cryosurgery can go home after four days.

Cryosurgery can also treat the following:

Skin Cancer
Liver Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Uterine Cancer

One hospital in China is one of the leading institutions for cryosurgery. Famously being practiced in the FUDA Hospital in Guangzhou, China, led by doctor and Professor Kecheng Xu, FUDA has provided treatment for patients from more than 38 countries, including the Philippines, which already had over 300 cancer cases treated by cryosurgery. FUDA has also recorded 10,000 treated patients from over the world, and has been voted as the best cancer hospital in China in 2009 and dubbed the ‘Most Innovative Young Hospital in China’ in 2010.

But even better news is a local organization called Philippine Volunteers for FUDA, set up by a group of Filipinos who have received successful cancer treatments at FUDA, made to accommodate cancer patients who aspire to seek this kind of treatment in China.


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