FAQ

Where can I get the cryoablation breast cancer procedure?

We make an effort to maintain a current list of providers; this information is shown belows. If you are a patient or health care provider aware of other locations or physicians that are offering this procedure we would welcome an email sent to the contact us link so that we can update our website.

Cryoablation for breast cancer is currently offered at the following locations:

  1. FUDA Cancer Hospital, Guangzhou, China has treated thousands of patients using cryoablation. This web site gives information about breast cancer treatment and is very comprehensive www.orienttumor.com/zh_asp_new/zt/english/MT/Cryosurgery_04.html
    and this web page gives information on securing treatment in China: www.orienttumor.com/en_asp_new/index.asp
  2. Sanarus sponsored Phase 2 Clinical Trials, various locations around the country: www.sanarus.com/product-development/cryoablation-treatment-trials
  3. Dr. Jason Williams of The American Cancer Ablation Center 1680 W. 2nd St., Gulf Shores, AL 36542 www.cancerablation.com

Does cryoablation kill cancer?

Cryoablation has been proven to kill many cancers in the body including breast, liver, prostate kidney and lung tissue. Cryoablation for killing cancer tissue was approved by the FDA in 1999. Research by Dr. Peter Littrup has proven that multi-probe and double freeze thaw cycles are the most efficient way of killing tumors.

Is there much pain following cryoablation for breast cancer?

There is typically very little pain following the procedure. This is because the freezing process itself numbs the area treated by destroying the nerve endings. Most patients find that over the counter pain pills are all that is needed, and then only for a few days.

Can I get an infection from the cryoablation procedure?

Any medical procedure that penetrates the body carries with it the risk of infection. However the operation is done using sterilized equipment and conducted using sterile practices, so the risk is no greater than that of any other procedure to cure breast cancer. The patient is left with only a few small incisions on the skin that are bandaged and heal very quickly.

What is the typical cost of cryoablation to treat a breast cancer in a single breast?

The cost varies between practitioners, some charging $25,000 a breast with others charging $5,000. Treatment in China varies between $500 and $30,000 depending on the stage of the cancer and the treatment involved. The more expensive figure from China is quoted as a month long hospital stay with chemotherapy, immunotherapy and nutritional treatment.

Has any research been done as to the frequency of occurrence of the immune effect being induced by cryoablation of breast cancer?

The only published results to date that the authors have been able to locate involve a Japanese researcher, a Dr. Tanaka, who treated approximately 10 patients using cryoablation in a small study. These patients all had stage 4 breast cancer and were considered inoperable by any other technology. Approximately 50% of those treated had previously metastasized sites healed throughout the body. It should be noted that in China websites now claim that cryoablation had been performed more than 42,000 times by the end of 2008. This was for a mix of cancers such as breast, kidney, lung, liver, prostate and bone cancer.

What is the recovery period after a cryoablation procedure for breast cancer?

General anesthesia is not required for a cryoablation procedure because the freezing eliminates any sensation of pain. Therefore only a local anesthetic is required at the sites where the probes enter the breast through the skin. A patient is fully conscious throughout the procedure, so the recovery period is very quick. Cryoablation can be done in a clinical setting and doesn’t require an operating room. Many patients have received treatment and afterwards only needed Tylenol for pain relief. They are able to eat and sleep normally and often fly home the day after treatment.

How many women have been treated worldwide using cryoablation for breast cancer?

Hundreds of women have been treated in the United States during research into cryoablation by first freezing the tumor and then having a mastectomy several weeks after to determine that the cancer has been killed. Women can now receive cryoablation outside of a clinical trial setting and retain their breast. The authors estimate that approximately 50 women have received cryoablation for breast cancer without follow up mastectomy in the USA and possibly upwards of 200 to 1,000 women have been treated. Please note this is a rough estimate based on published data on the internet.

What companies make the equipment needed for treating breast cancer with cryoablation?

There are three companies that currently make equipment used in cryoablation for breasts.
Sanarus makes a cryoablation unit that is a single probe machine that is currently confined to the cryoablation of fibrotic cysts. They are currently engaged in clinical trials to prove the efficacy of their machine in treating breast cancer. They have a license to treat breasts from Endocare. Endocare also makes machines that are multi-probe which are used in treating prostate cancer. Some practitioners currently use the Endocare machine for breast cancer cryhoablation as they prefer the ability to control the freeze zone better with multiple probes. www.sanarus.com

Icecure offers a liquid nitrogen system called IceSense. They currently focus on fibroadenoma treatment and are also engaged in clinical trials for breast cancer cryoablation. www.icecure-medical.com

Cryomedix is a startup company that has worked on bringing a newer technology, partly invented by Dr. Littrup, for breast cancer treatment. Their initial plan is to offer a single probe machine with high capacity freezing capability followed by a dual probe machine later. Their equipment should be available in clinics across the US by 2014. The subsidiary company that will offer this treatment is to be called CryoFem.
cryomedix.com

Will my breast change shape or size following breast cancer cryoablation?

Initally the breast might be slightly swollen due to the possible need to inject saline solution between the skin and the breast tissue if the cancer is close to the skin surface. If the tumor is not close to the skin then this is not the case and little swelling occurs post op. Many women have actually noticed that once the dead tissue has been cleared away inside the breast by the immune system, the body grows new, “nubile” tissue which is firmer, much like teenage breast tissue.

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