Cryoablation: Alternative to Lumpectomy
There are a number of benefits of a lumpectomy cryoablation.
During cryoablation, the procedure is relatively painless and just feels like a sensation of coolness. There is also minimal scarring, which happens with other types of breast cancer treatment. Another benefit with this technique is the possibility that freezing the cancer and then leaving it in the body to be absorbed can stimulate an anti-cancer immune response. Evidence suggests that the body’s immune system might acts as an auto-vaccine against cancer to help reduce the chances of a recurrence. The effectiveness of this auto-vaccine in humans remains unproven and might not adequately prevent recurrence of the cancer in other parts of the body. Consequently, you should not abandon traditional anti-cancer medications or radiation with the hope that cryoablation will make them unnecessary. In fact, the anti-cancer immune response of cryoablation might be enhanced by some anti-cancer medications.
The cryoablation procedure is minimally invasive so it takes a lot less time and can be done in just 1 hour. Patients can resume normal activities quickly after surgery.
Besides minimal scarring, there is little to no change in the volume or appearance of the breast, which means that reconstruction surgery will not be needed. No breast indentations will occur.
One of the only risks of this type of treatment is not killing all the cancerous cells. Some of the potential complications can include bleeding, infection, and cold damage to the skin. However, your cryoablation breast surgeon will let you know if the many benefits outweigh the risk.
Even after treatment, your cryoablation breast surgeon will recommend follow-up appointments and breast imaging studies.