Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive, organ preserving treatment that uses extremely cold temperatures delivered by very small, needle-like instruments, to destroy abnormal cells such as cancer, or even precancerous conditions.

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The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center is the most experienced gastrointestinal cancer treatment center in the region. You will be receiving the best treatment possible with our world-class, multidisciplinary team.

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We focus the expertise of the region’s most advanced gastrointestinal cancer team on delivering only the best results. Our nationally recognized cancer subspecialists offer you access to standard therapies as well as the latest treatments and leading-edge clinical trials.

To schedule an appointment, please call the UC Gastrointestinal Cancer team at 513-585-UCCC.

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Answers to Your Questions about Cryotherapy for Cancer

Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive, organ-preserving cancer treatment that uses freezing temperatures to kill cancer cells. It is also called cryosurgery or cryoablation.

How Does Cryotherapy Work?

Cryotherapy works by using extreme cold to destroy the cancer cells. The doctor will insert a probe into the tumor, and the probe will then be cooled to a very low temperature. The cold temperatures kill the cancer cells. The tissue that grows back is usually normal. In most cases, all abnormal cells are removed with only one treatment.

Why is Cryotherapy Done?

Cryotherapy can be used to treat some types of cancer or precancerous cells. It is often used to treat tumors that are in hard-to-reach areas and helps to avoid the need for a surgical procedure. It can also be used to treat tumors that have come back after other treatments.

Benefits of Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy has many benefits, including:

  • It is minimally invasive, so there is no need for a surgical procedure.

  • It preserves healthy tissue and organs.

  • It can be used to treat tumors in hard-to-reach areas.

  • It has few side effects.

Risks or Side Effects of Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive, safe and effective cancer treatment with few side effects. The most common side effect is temporary numbness in the treated area. Other possible side effects include:

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Pain

  • Skin irritation

  • Blisters

  • Infection

  • Scarring

Many patients with cancer or precancerous conditions can be candidates for this treatment.

Your care provider will help you determine if cryotherapy is the best treatment option for you.

What types of cancer is cryotherapy most often used for?

Some of the cancers that cryotherapy is most often used to treat include:

Patients usually recover very well from this treatment. Most patients go home the same day of treatment and return quickly to their normal lives. There is less pain than after radiofrequency ablation which is a major advantage of this treatment. Additionally, there is less risk of infection and bleeding. There are also no dietary restrictions after this treatment.

The success rates of cryotherapy vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. In general, cryotherapy is most effective in treating early-stage cancers. The five-year survival rate for patients with early-stage lung cancer is about 56%. The five-year survival rate for patients with stage 4 lung cancer is about 4%.

Why the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center

Experience and Expertise

Comprehensive Cancer Care

Primary cancer treatments can cause significant side-effects. With one of the largest survivorship and supportive services programs in the region, we believe in complimentary, holistic care that enhances overall wellbeing and quality of life.

Multidisciplinary Care

Curing cancer is a puzzle best solved when the brightest experts work together to form the best treatment plan possible, not only in this procedure, but in all aspects of cancer treatment.

The Academic Difference

As an academic medical center, our focus is providing excellent care based on clinical experience and medical research. Our goal is to provide the best treatment options for you, whether it be cryotherapy or other directed therapies.

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Referring Physicians: Success and Provider Toolbox

We are committed to providing optimal care to your patient and open communication with you. We understand that as a referring physician, you need to be kept informed on your patient’s progress. That’s why we set up a toolbox to share detailed information about your patient’s health with you.

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