Prostate cryotherapy treatment available in UK

27 August 2008

Prostate cryotherapy has recently been approved by the European Association of Urologists (EAU) and has been used widely in the United States for many years. It is now available in the UK at both NHS and private hospitals.

Each year nearly 33,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 10,000 die from the disease. It has become the most common cancer in men and mainly affects men over the age of 50. People affected and their families should be informed about all the options available to them — cryotherapy is one such treatment option.

Professor Damian Greene, Consultant Urologist at Sunderland Royal Hospital in Northeast England, considers cryotherapy an extremely valuable option in the treatment of primary as well as recurrent prostate cancer.

Professor Greene commented: "Cryotherapy is a significant alternative to traditional treatments for prostate cancer, such as radical prostatectomy and external beam radiation treatment. Patient satisfaction with cryotherapy is high due to its minimally invasive approach, which allows returning to active life quicker than with alternative treatments."

Cryotherapy is based on the science of freezing at very cold temperatures to kill cancerous cells. This minimally invasive, non-surgical and non-radiation treatment freezes and destroys tumours. The treatment is performed by inserting very fine sealed needles directly into the tumours, through which Argon gas is circulated to reach sub-zero temperatures.

A patient of Professor Greene's, Anthony Purvis was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost five years ago at the age of 65, and is now free of the disease following treatment with cryotherapy. At that time, cryotherapy wasn't an option in the UK so he had to travel to the US for treatment.

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