What is Onco Freezing?
Onco freezing is a process in which the cancerous or precancerous cells are destroyed by extreme cold or freezing the cells. It is a minimal invasive technique. The extreme cold is provided through liquid nitrogen or argon gas. Precancerous cells are cells which are abnormal but not yet turned into cancer. The tumor cells are prevented from further growth and spreading by applying cold to it. The size, location and stage of tumor determine whether the onco freezing process will be effect on it or not. Onco freezing is also called cryoablation or cryotherapy or cryosurgery.
Onco freezing is applied in treatment of cancer of eye, liver, lung, kidney, prostrate, cervix and skin. For skin cancer or tumor onco freezing applies spraying or swabbing on the cancerous or precancerous area directly with liquid nitrogen. At the end of the process the frozen tissue falls within three weeks. As far as cancer or tumor inside is concerned they are treated through a small needle-like probe which is hollow at the front or ballpoint and contain freezing-cold liquid nitrogen or argon gas. This probe is called cryoprobe. When the internal treatment is done through cryoprobe, the dead cells are naturally removed through a process known as efferocytosis in the body.
The benefit of onco freezing is that the patient experiences less pain, undergoes less risk and recovers in very short span of time.
Causes that require Onco Freezing
Onco freezing is used to relieve the patient from pain and other complications caused by the cancer. Following are the types of patients whose cause of suffering requires onco freezing treatment –
- Patients who are unable to go for surgery due to risk involved in it.
- Patients who are unable to go for surgery due to age factor.
- Patients who are unable to go for surgery due to disease complications.
- Patients who are unable to go for surgery due issue with functioning of heart and lungs.
- Patients who are unable to go for surgery due to high sugar and blood pressure.
When to visit a doctor?
The onco freezing can be performed by specialist called interventional radiologist at dedicated cancer clinic. If you are planning for onco freezing for above mentioned causes kindly visit the interventional radiologist for proper and accurate guidance.
Diagnosis of Onco Freezing
Prior to start of the process, the interventional radiologist may ask the patient about his/her current medications. Because it might be possible in some cases all or some of them need to be stopped prior to the process like blood thinners. Blood test is conducted to ensure that patients immune system response and blood clotting ability are adequate.
The interventional radiologist shall also communicate about any prohibitions or restrictions related food and drinking or other precaution prior to treatment.
Process of Onco Freezing
The process of onco freezing is performed in any cancer treatment dedicated hospital or clinic by an interventional radiologist. In some cases depending on the tumor size, location or type of organ it affects, a patient might be required to stay overnight post the process of onco freezing for observation. The steps involved in the process of onco freezing treatment are as follows -
- Prior to commencement of the process, the patient is administered general anesthesia through an intravenous (IV) line. This shall keep the patient calm and safe during the entire process.
- Then at the area of treatment in the body, local anesthesia is administered. It is part of the body where the small incision will take place.
- Now, a small needle with cooled tip is placed through the incision through medium of ultrasound or CT scan. This medium helps the doctor to correctly access the tumor mass.
- Once the needle is placed at the tumor, the cooled tip of the needle will freeze the tumor tissue. This process is repeated many times, in this single session.
- When the process is completed, the needle is removed and the area is covered with bandage. The patient is transferred to intensive care or general or private ward for an overnight stay for observation.
If the patient experience pain or shows symptoms of an infection, it will be treated through medication while in observation. If the patient is release from hospital then the medication dosage for fixed period is advised.
Onco freezing is a process in which the cancerous or precancerous cells are destroyed by extreme cold or freezing the cells.
It is a small needle-like probe which is hollow at the front or ballpoint and contain freezing-cold liquid nitrogen or argon gas.
It freezes the tumor tissue through the cooled tip at front using liquid nitrogen or argon gas.
Benefits are less pain, negligible risk and fast recovery.
An interventional radiologist performs onco freezing.