Cryotherapy or cryosurgery as it is sometimes called, is a more recently developed prostate cancer treatment option. The procedure is a minimally invasive one that was developed in the 90's and works by freezing the prostate and the cancer cells within. During a cryotherapy surgery, pins are inserted into the prostate through the perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus), the pins are then used to freeze the cancerous portions of the prostate; this will completely destroy any frozen tissue and the cancer cells within it. Unfortunately, this procedure may also damage the nerves that are associated with sexual functions.

Cryotherapy is a minimal invasion technique that can be used in conjunction with other treatment options or used when other options have failed. It is also an option that can be used when the patient wants to avoid the longer recovery times that are associated with using other options, such as open surgery radical prostatectomy.

Side effects of Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy can be done as an outpatient surgery under local or general anesthesia. The main side effect associated with cryotherapy is impotence. In order to properly treat the cancer it is sometimes necessary to freeze some tissue outside the prostate, which can affect the nerves that are responsible for regulating an erection. If the nerve bundles are not damaged, in many cases, the symptoms will go away in a matter of weeks. Side effects of cryotherapy surgery include:
· Blood in the urine
· Swelling of the Scrotum
· Impotence
· Urinary leakage
· Prostatic slough (damage to the urethra)
· Mild urinary urgency
· Mild pelvic pains

Recovery times of Cryotherapy
Being a minimum invasion procedure, Cryosurgery patients usually experience relatively short recovery times. In most cases the patient will be up and about the same day, but may experience some discomfort.

Success Rates of Cryotherapy
Cryosurgery has some of the highest success rates of any prostate cancer treatment option. According to E. Fuller Torrey and Carlton Stoiber in their book "Surviving Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know…" the cancer recurrence rate after two year measured in PSA score was 40 percent for low-risk patients, 55 percent for intermediate-risk patients and 64 percent for high risk patients. These numbers may not reflect the results that can be obtained from using modern cryotherapy techniques.

Other prostate cancer treatment options include:
· Brachytherapy Radiation
· Hormone Therapy or Androgen Deprivation therapy
· Radical Prostatectomy
· Watchful Waiting
· Herbal Alternatives