Focalyx Tx

FAQS about cryotherapy for prostate cancer

Can focal cryotherapy cure my prostate cancer?

If your doctor considers that you are a candidate for focal cryotherapy for prostate, it is highly likely that the procedure cure your cancer.

Am I a candidate for focal cryotherapy with the image fusion in real time?

Your doctor can help to determine if you are a good candidate, although the cryotherapy for prostate is used to treat all stages and types of localized prostate cancer (cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate). The cryotherapy is also used to treat those patients whose radiation therapy (radiotherapy) has failed (rescue cryotherapy).

What are the risks and side effects of focal cryotherapy?

Your doctor will advice you that any medical procedure has its risks. However, the focal cryotherapy avoids many of the risks and complications of other treatments. The possible side effects of curative treatments for prostate cancer include the incontinency (thought cryotherapy has a very low risk) and erection problems.

How long is the procedure?

A focal cryotherapy procedure for prostate cancer with the image fusion in real time lasts for about 90 minutes.

This is an outpatient procedure at our center. It is a procedure that requires sedation so the whole stay takes around 3 hours.

Some cases will need a urinary catheter during 3 to 5 days. Our nurse will call you to follow up the day after the procedure and you will be able to contact her whenever you need.

How will I feel after the procedure?

You could feel a slight discomfort right after the procedure, but you will be given pain medication and will get well quickly. Some patients will need a urinary catheter for a few days until they are able to urinate.

Before going home, you will be taught how to manage the catheter. Most patients feel a big relief after their cancers have been treated and others feel rather sensitive, but the professional team of Lyx Urología will be at your side at all times.

How long will it take until returning to normal life?

Your doctor will tell you in advance how long time you need. Because focal cryotherapy has no open surgery involved, most patients are able to return to their normal lives once they no longer need the urinary catheter, within a week approximately.

What about other activities, like sports?

Your doctor will advise you when would be appropriate to restart your active hobbies and sports, that normally takes one or two weeks after the procedure.

How will it affect my sexual life?

Every curative treatment for prostate cancer may affect the ability to get and keep an erection. The focal cryotherapy it focuses on the affected area only, so allows preserve the nerves that control erection.

The chance to keep an erection after the procedure varies from patient to patient, depending on age, previous state of erection and by anatomic location of the tumor. This risk may seem discouraging, but we must bear in mind that there are important advances in medical science to help men who have lost their natural ability to get an erection.

The erectile dysfunction (ED) or sexual impotence, is very common in middle age men (including those who have not suffered a prostate cancer) and nowadays there are many methods to help achieve a satisfactory sexual life. Unlike with radical surgery, ejaculation and orgasm are not affected.

Will I be incontinent after the procedure?

The other side effect connected with prostate cancer is the loss of bladder control (urine leakage). This is one of the most common side effects of the procedure. Many men need to use sanitary towels and regularly replaced them due to the urine leakage; this is an important obstacle on restoring a good quality of life after your treatment. It is particularly difficult on patients who have previously enjoyed a rich social life, outdoor sports and other activities.

Following a study, it was found that the focal cryotherapy group has better results than other groups of treatments (including the robotic radical prostatectomy). The cryotherapy group recovered a 99% of their initial punctuation at 6 months and improved its basal punctuation on around 13% in three years.

What could happen/ should I expect in a long term?

It is very important that patients understand clearly that, focal cryotherapy needs to be closely monitored. Because the focal cryotherapy focuses on a specific area of the prostate, at least half of the gland will be untreated (hence the few of side effects observed).

All patients who had undergone a focal cryotherapy must regularly follow-up (PSA, nuclear MRI scan and re-biopsy eventually) to monitor any change carefully.

In case that a tumor is found in the future, the patient will have the option of an additional treatment.

The focal cryotherapy does not exclude any future option of treatment (radical surgery, radiation, etc), including a focal cryotherapy of repetition or cryotherapy of the entire prostate gland. It is likely that the patient enjoys a quality of life without interruption from the first procedure until an additional one if needed.