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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cryoablation

Cryoablation for cancer uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy tumors.

To administer cryoablation treatment, a doctor inserts a hollow, needle-like probe or catheter through a scope or the skin and into or near a tumor. Endoscopy, ultrasound, CT or MRI is used to guide the probe. Cold gases (liquid nitrogen or argon) circulate through the probe or catheter. At its tip, the probe forms a ball of ice crystals, which surrounds and “freezes” the tumor. If a catheter is used, cold gases such as liquid nitrogen or argon are sprayed over the affected area, causing it to freeze.

We may use cryoablation treatment to clear obstructions in the airway or destroy lung tumors in the airway. Cryoablation also may be used to treat skin cancer, lung cancer and cancers of the gastrointestinal system.

Cryoablation may result in multiple benefits:

  • It is less invasive.
  • It reduces harm to nearby normal tissues.
  • It may be used to treat tumors and abnormal growths when surgery is not an option.
  • It may be performed on an outpatient basis, although a short hospital stay may be required.
  • It may be repeated if new tumors or abnormal growths develop.
  • It may be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments.
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