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What is cryotherapy?

Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery and cryoablation, kills cancer cells by freezing them. It's not exactly a new procedure -- physicians have used cryotherapy to destroy skin tumors and precancerous moles since the 1960s. But it wasn't until the 1990s, after significant improvements were made in imaging technology and the devices that control extreme temperatures, that researchers started testing cryotherapy on tumors inside the body. Before that, doctors had no way to monitor the treatment internally or see how much tissue had been frozen.

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