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 Overview of Cryoablation

Cryoablation has been used for many years on liver, skin, and cervical cancers as well as benign tumors within the breast.  Cryoablation is a relatively new method of treating breast cancer and is still considered experimental for the treatment of breast cancer.


However, the preliminary results of several ongoing studies of cryoablation indicate that cryoablation may be an effective treatment of estrogen and/or progesterone-sensitive, early stage invasive ductal breast cancer measuring 2 cm or smaller.



Dr. Dennis Holmes speaking at the Susan G. Komen conference in San Diego, CA.

There are no conclusive studies showing the effectiveness of cryoablation in the treatment of breast cancers greater than 2 cm, breast cancers with lymph node involvement, breast cancers that have previously been treated with chemotherapy or anti-estrogen therapy, recurrent breast cancers, multiple cancers in the same breast, non-hormone dependent breast cancer (like triple negative breast cancer), non-invasive breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS), or invasive lobular breast cancers. However, if the cancerous area can be clearly seen by ultrasound and is confined to a specific area, there is a reasonable expectation that it can be accurately targeted and effectively treated with cryoablation.

Cryoprobes showing ice balls that form within the breast.

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