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Prostate Cancer: High Tech Options: June 24, 2011

It’s high tech treatment, targeting prostate cancer like never before.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men. It kills more men than any other cancer, making treatments all the more important.

John Yope decided against repeated radiation for his prostate cancer, instead opting for a new technique: cryotherapy. “I’m looking for the fastest way and not tying up two months,” Yope says. “So I’m going to try this.”

Cryo means cold. Cryotherapy uses ice to freeze and kill the cancer. The procedure uses temperatures of minus 40 degrees centigrade to pin point the precise spot.

“It does offer another alternative for patients,” says Dr. WIlliam Evans who is Yope’s urologist.

In cryotherapy, argon gas is circulated through small probes, creating ice balls.

“By placing these probes in the appropriate positions these ice balls will actually coalesce. It will actually come together and to form one large ice ball which is what we’re trying to achieve: to freeze the prostate,” Dr. Evans says.

There’s no incision and only one treatment. This is the latest minimally invasive option targeting prostate cancer. Another is the da Vinci robotic surgery system.

“The machine helps us precisely handle the tissues,” says Dr. Paul Breton who performs da Vinci surgery at Lee Memorial Health System. “And we’re able to do things much more accurately under magnification.”

Using the da Vinci robot, surgeons operate through a few small holes which means less trauma to the body and a quicker recovery time.

Taking on cancer using new technology and giving patients more options for their health.