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GMC offers icy outpatient prostate treatment

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure for prostate cancer has arrived at the Gwinnett Medical Center.

Cryoablation, which uses ice to destroy cancerous tissue, allows patients to recover quickly, and GMC-affiliated surgeons are specially-trained to use this treatment, according to a news release.

"We are excited to add cryoablation to our list of prostate cancer services," said Dr. Howard Goldberg, who is certified by the American Board of Urology, and the first surgeon to perform Cryoablation at Gwinnett Medical Center-Lawrenceville. "No two cases of prostate cancer are exactly alike and this procedure offers patients who are not good candidates for surgery, a safe, very effective alternative that can be tailored to treat their specific need."

In 2011, an estimated 6,380 Georgia men learned they had prostate cancer. The Prostate Cancer Foundation lists prostate cancer as the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in the U.S., and one in six American men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime.

The Cryoablation treatment focuses on the cancerous lesion and spares healthy, disease-free tissue. It's different than other treatment methods because it doesn't have the side effects, the news release said.

During the procedure, small needles are connected to the Cryoablation device and inserted into the prostate under ultrasound guidance, then activated to form "ice balls" at temperatures that are lethal to cancer cells.

Another bonus is Cryoablation has "repeatability" if cancer cells are found months or years later.

Along with Cryoablation, GMC also offers all surgical treatment options for prostate cancer, including robotics, open surgery, permanent radiation seeds and a temporary high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy.

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