For men and their families, prostate cancer is a serious health concern. How effective is laser ablation for prostate cancer? Radiofrequency ablation or RFA is one of the most recent non-surgical therapy options used to treat prostate cancer. Today, more alternative cancer treatment specialists are using the alternative approach to treat prostate cancer.
So, What Is Radiofrequency Ablation
Ablation basically refers to destroying diseased body tissue such as malignant tumors. Therefore, radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that targets cancerous tissues with a high-frequency electric current.
As the name suggests, the cancer treatment option uses radio waves to produce an electrical current that kills the tumor cells. A needle-thin probe delivers low doses of radiofrequency waves directly to the tumor, causing cell death.
By using heat to shrink and kill tumor cells, the thermal focal ablation treatment technique aids in the fight against prostate cancer without the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Precise CT imaging maps the tumor’s location, shape, and size before radiofrequency ablation can be used to treat a range of conditions, including:
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Bone cancer
Radiofrequency Ablation for Prostate Cancer
Radiofrequency ablation is an alternative cancer treatment approach to destroy the tumor right where it sits while the surrounding tissue is left intact. The treatment strategy is effective in eliminating predefined regions of the prostate that harbors cancer. The minimally invasive procedure uses image guidance technology to place a needle through the skin into a tumor within the prostate gland.
Similar to ablation for liver cancer, During the injection procedure, radiofrequency is used to completely or partially destroy the prostate, thus eradicating cancer from the prostate. Radiofrequency ablation for prostate cancer is done to:
- Reduce or eliminate prostate pain.
- Postpone or avoid prostate surgery.
- Enhance prostate function.
Doctors might recommend the focal treatment strategy when:
- You are not healthy enough to have surgery.
- Prostate surgery is challenging due to the location of the cancer cells.
- You cannot tolerate prostate surgery procedures.
- The tumor is relatively small.
Partial Gland Ablation
Partial gland radiofrequency ablation is regarded as a secure and low-risk procedure for the focal treatment of prostate cancer. If the cancer cells are only present in a tiny portion of the prostate, radiofrequency is utilized to destroy cancer while protecting the healthy prostate tissue. This method is referred to as partial gland ablation.
To determine whether partial gland radiofrequency ablation is a good option for you, consider talking to an alternative cancer treatment specialist online.
On the other hand, whole gland radiofrequency ablation is a thermal ablation technique that uses radio waves to eradicate the cancerous enlarged prostate gland. Radiofrequency can be used to treat prostate cancer in the early stages when surgery is not an option. One or more special needle electrodes are inserted into the prostate to destroy selected tissue using heat created by high-frequency radio waves.
What Equipment Is Used in The Procedure
The radiofrequency ablation procedure uses heat to kill cancer cells. In the process, a radiofrequency generator is utilized to create electrical currents that are in the radiofrequency waveband. The device transforms electrical energy into heat energy that destroys cancer cells.
Using insulated wires, the radiofrequency generator is connected to the needle electrodes and grounding pads on the patient’s back or thighs. The grounding pads are placed on the patient’s body, and a needle electrode is then used to transmit radiofrequency waves between them, thus creating heat around the electrode. The heat is directed at the tumor, where it heats and destroys the cancerous cells that are close to the electrode.
How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?
Radiofrequency ablation is typically carried out as an outpatient procedure. An anesthetic will be used to numb a small portion of your skin before a needle-like probe is inserted into the desired location during the minimally invasive procedure. To help the radiologist guide the needle through your skin and to the damaged area, they may use an ultrasound, CT scan, or any other imaging technique. The doctor then stimulates the desired area to ensure they have successfully reached it and that the probe’s tip is in the proper place.
An electrode is inserted into the top of the needle, allowing radiofrequency waves to be sent out from the probe into the surrounding tissue, causing the death of nearby target cells. Once an electrical probe is inserted down the needle, it is connected to the radiofrequency generator. Radiofrequency waves are passed between the needle electrode and the grounding pads placed on a patient’s skin. The grounding pads are attached to the patient and connected to a generator to complete the electrical circuit.
Radio Waves heat the affected area and cause irreversible thermal damage to the cells. The cancer cells perish because the temperatures are above 50–60 °C. The immune system progressively eliminates the cells, which causes the affected area to shrink. One of the procedure’s advantages is that it spares the neighboring healthy tissue from injury.
When tumors are significant, it is occasionally necessary to perform numerous ablations. To do this, the needle electrode may be repositioned. As an alternative, several needles could be inserted into different parts of the tumor to ensure no tumor tissue is left behind after the procedure.
What Happens After a Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure?
When the procedure is over, the needle electrode is taken out, and the area of the skin where the probe was inserted into a patient’s skin is dressed up. Most focal ablation patients return home the same day as their procedure; however, some elect to spend the night in the hospital. After your focal laser ablation procedure, if you plan to leave the hospital, make arrangements for someone to drive you home. You’re not supposed to engage in any physically demanding activities after the procedure.
Before leaving the hospital, discuss follow-up care with your doctor, and follow all the post-hospital instructions your healthcare provider gives you after leaving the hospital.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Radiofrequency Ablation for Prostate Cancer
After the focal laser ablation procedure, one may experience soreness in the targeted area for a couple of days. A catheter may be used to divert urine out of the body, allowing time for the body to heal after the procedure. After the procedure, you ought to be able to return to your regular activities in 3 to 5 days. 2 to 3 weeks later, most patients will have fully recovered. Most patients will have recovered completely 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure.
What Are the Side Effects of Radiofrequency Ablation?
As is the case with any other injection procedure, there is always potential for side effects or other complications. The risk of complications from radiofrequency ablation is very low. The main side effect of the procedure include:
- Mild discomfort at the site where the needles were inserted into your skin.
- Any procedure that penetrates the skin carries a risk of infection.
However, in most cases, this will go away after a few days.
Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation
Conventional prostate cancer treatment options such as radiation therapy and surgery usually have side effects such as loss of bladder control. On the other hand, radiofrequency ablation can effectively halt tumor growth while guaranteeing fewer side effects.
Patients often choose radiofrequency ablation for prostate cancer treatment over conventional treatment options for the following reasons:
1. RFA Is More Affordable When Compared to Other Cancer Treatment Options
Radiofrequency ablation is a less expensive option for treating prostate cancer. Additionally, most insurance providers cover this kind of care.
2. No Surgery or Radiation
With radiofrequency ablation, you don’t have to worry about surgical incisions or the potential side effects of radiation.
3. The Procedure Takes Little to No Time
Usually, a treatment session lasts no longer than 30 minutes. The non-surgical procedure also lessens the need for painkillers.
4. Rapid Recovery Times
Recovery after radiofrequency ablation is quicker than recovery from conventional surgery. After a day or two of rest following the surgery, you should resume your normal activities.
5. Minimal-to-no Side Effects
Clinical trials have demonstrated that the procedure yields positive results and poses a very low risk of side effects.
6. Avoids Damage to Healthy Prostate Tissue
Unlike other cancer therapies, only the tumor is targeted. Adjacent tissues and organs are spared during the procedure. The treatment option efficiently destroys the tumor’s core, which frequently does not respond well to other treatments.
7. Radiofrequency Ablation Is Much Less Invasive Than Open Surgery
Being a minimally invasive procedure, there are fewer and less severe consequences. Radiofrequency ablation is a safe way of treating prostate cancer.
8. The Procedure is Repeatable
When the tumor persists or reappears, the procedure can be performed again to eliminate cancer completely.
9. Few Restrictions Are Placed on You Immediately After the Procedure
Since the risk of experiencing post-procedure complications are low, few restrictions are placed on patients.
10. Low Risk of Incontinence
Radiofrequency ablation of the enlarged prostate can be performed with little to no risk of incontinence and other complications.
Radiofrequency Ablation for Prostate Cancer at Immunity Therapy Center
Radiofrequency ablation is a fantastic choice if you or someone you’re caring for is looking for an alternative approach to cancer treatment. Immunity Therapy Centre is a reputable medical center offering alternative cancer treatment in Mexico. We treat all types and stages of cancer. By working with us, you’ll access a broad range of alternative prostate cancer treatments through our programs, which have some of the most satisfactory cancer treatment outcomes in the country.
Written By: Dr. Adolfo Carrillo
Dr. Adolfo Carrillo is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.
Dr. Carrillo has been collaborating with Dr. Bautista for over 5 years as a treating physician at the Immunity the Immunity Therapy Center. Dr. Carrillo is a charismatic Doctor whose knowledge and commitment to patient care and bringing healing to patients is a valuable asset to our center.
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.