Similarly to the treatment of cryoablation, a form of therapy which utilises argon gas is being promoted in the US as a more comfortable and often suitable treatment for men suffering from prostate cancer, known as prostate cryotherapy.
This method of cancer treatment uses argon gas to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue, performed as an outpatient procedure requiring no major surgery and offered as a minimally invasive treatment for men with prostate cancer by Dr John S. TerKeurst, the first urologist in northern Arkansas to offer such a treatment.
Cryotherapy involves a small incision or insertion through the skin, a limited treatment area utilising ultrasound guidance and a shorter recovery time. The patient does not undergo traditional radiation and has no radioactive substances left in the body, with patients experiencing fewer and less severe side effects than with major surgery – according to TerKeurst.
“I rarely offer Interstitial Radiation (Brachytherapy), an earlier treatment option of implanting radioactive pellets in the prostate to destroy cancer cells, because the treatment can cause up to 3 months of residual pain and/or rectal discomfort,” he said.
Another example of the use of industrial and medical gases in providing significant medical treatment and comfort, cryotherapy is suitable for patients whose cancer recurs following radiation treatment, for prostate cancer in an advanced stage and for patients who wish to avoid major surgery.