Laura Ross-Paul and Ingrid Edstrom, FNP, M.Ed. of Proactive Breast Wellness and Infrared Breast Health are attempting to bring cryoablation to the Pacific Northwest in a clinical trial with a radiologist and a breast surgeon. They hope to utilize infrared imaging pre and post cryoablation. Please contact Ingrid at InfraredBreastHealth@gmail.com or call her office to learn more 541-302-2977 PST.
Original Source: Breast Cancer News
Written By: Charles Moore
Date: March 29th, 2016
Laura Ross-Paul of Portland, Oregon, calls herself a “patient pioneer,” as one of the first women in the world to receive cryoablation as the primary treatment for her multi-focused breast cancer 13 years ago.
Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery, cryoablation or targeted cryoablation therapy, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses the application of extremely cold temperatures (cryo) to destroy diseased tissue (ablation), including cancer cells.
For internal tumors, cryotherapy is carried out by using a cryoprobe — a thin hollow wand-like device with a handle or trigger or a series of small needles, attached via tubing to a source of nitrogen or argon, which super-cools the probe tip through which cooled, thermally conductive fluids are circulated. Cryoprobes are inserted into or placed adjacent to diseased tissue in a way that ablation will provide correction, yielding benefit to the patient.
The cryoprobe is placed in the proper position using imaging guidance, and as internal tissue is being frozen, the physician avoids damaging healthy tissue by viewing movement of the probe on ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MRI) images transmitted to a video monitor. With the probes in place, the cryogenic freezing unit removes heat from the tip of the probe and by extension from surrounding tissues.
Ablation occurs in tissue that has been frozen by at least three mechanisms:
• Formation of ice crystals within cells, thereby disrupting membranes and interrupting cellular metabolism among other processes;
• Coagulation of blood thereby, interrupting blood flow to the tissue, in turn causing ischemia and cell death;
• Induction of the so-called programmed cell death cascade.
Ross-Paul received her cryotherapy treatment in 2003 at the Karmanos Cancer Center in midtown Detroit, Michigan,one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. and the only hospital in Michigan dedicated exclusively to fighting cancer.
With continuing improvement of imaging techniques and development of devices that can more precisely control the topical application of extreme temperatures to better control extreme temperatures, Karmanos Cancer Center physicians use cryotherapy as a treatment for patients with skin tumors, precancerous skin moles, nodules, skin tags, or unsightly freckles. They can also use cryotherapy to treat patients with benign and malignant breast tumors, although cryotherapy to treat malignant breast tumors is still considered experimental, and certain other cancers, including cancers of the prostate, liver (usually metastasized from other organs), cervix, and fibroadenoma.
Compared with other techniques, one of the benefits of cryotherapy includes minimal pain, minimal scarring, lower cost, and faster recovery times. The Karmanos Cancer Center, which is affiliated with Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, explains that once diseased cells are destroyed, components of the immune system clear out the dead tissue, and that patients undergoing cryosurgery usually experience minor to moderate localized pain and redness, which can be alleviated by over the counter painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen, and application of topical steroid creams.
Blisters may form, but they usually scab over and peel away. As with any medical treatment, there are risks involved, primarily damage to nearby healthy tissue and the potential for not thoroughly freezing the entire tumor during treatment. Damage to nerve tissue is also of particular concern.
Now a cryotherapy activist and advocate, Ross-Paul says that while to date there have been several dozen patients treated by cryoablation for breast tumors by Dr. Peter Littrup, a pioneer in the cryotherapy field, the Chinese, who began using cryoablation to treat breast cancer about the same time as Littrup, have treated more than 3,800 women using the method.
“The fact that these tremendous advances in China have not been duplicated in the U.S. is disturbing,” Ross-Paul said. “As activists promoting cryoablation in America, I and my husband have tried to identify why the progress in America is so slow, and then conceive of a solution to this problem. We believe we have the answer.”
Ross-Paul contends that “in America, cryoablation is seen as a treatment that needs to be proven effective before it is considered a safe alternative to the mastectomy and lumpectomy. FDA trials have been undertaken in the last 13 years, but the size of the trials have been limited due to financial constraints. As a result, when a doctor advises their patient who has breast cancer, cryoablation is considered as an unproven, experimental alternative to the much safer and statistically proven surgery.”
“Without statistical proof through trials,” she said, “cryoablation wont be used. But if cryoablation isn’t used, there will be no statistics. This has doomed cryoablation in the U.S. to forever be an experimental treatment. To get around this dilemma, we believe that prevention is the key. Through early detection, women are finding something suspicious in a mammogram. Since it is not yet identified as cancer, they are told to wait and see if it develops. If it doesn’t, after a long time of fearful waiting, there is a joyful sigh of relief. If it is cancer, however, at that point, cryoablation is not considered and only surgery is advised.”
What Women Want
But “women don’t want to just wait and do nothing,” Ross-Paul said. “In this six month wait-and-see period they are ready for action. The solution is to develop a new protocol that accompanies early detection, and that would be to use cryoablation to freeze anything suspicious. Why wait for something to manifest as a tumor? Why not keep the patients’ safety uppermost in mind and ablate the unusual tissue, and then follow up with more imaging? Cryoablation can’t hurt the breast, it is almost painless and very inexpensive. And if something suspicious returns, use cryoablation again until the condition either goes away, or becomes an obvious tumor which can then be treated by cryoablation, or by surgery.”
Ross-Paul maintains that if this new protocol is used in enough patients, the power of the naturally occurring immune effect will start to show itself, noting that “each time something suspicious is frozen and it was actually breast cancer, then about half those cases will be put into remission. Over time, a statistical base will demonstrate that women treated through early, preventative cryoablation develop far less breast cancer than those who simply wait, if they continue to engage in early detection combined with cryoablation.”
“There is no need to prove that cryoablation is superior to or as effective as surgery,” Ross-Paul said, “although efforts to do so can and should continue on a separate track. It can prove itself through this new protocol by eventually reducing the incidence of breast cancer almost entirely. This is what women need. This is what women want.”
Ross-Paul has co-written a book with her husband, Alex Paul, and her cancer physician, Dr. Peter Littrup, titled “They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them,” which documents the story of how she and her husband bucked the system and found Littrup, whoseadvanced skill in the field of cryo-ablation ultimately saved her breast. The co-authors also relate the success at Fuda Hospital in Guangzhou, China in treating a variety of Stage 4 cancers by combining cryoablation and advanced immune system therapies, which increase the frequency of the occurrence of the natural immune effect to approximately 80 percent or higher of the cases.
“They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them” is available from Amazon.com in both hard copy and ebook (Kindle) versions. Ross-Paul also maintains a Web page: http://keepingthem.com and a Facebook site:http://Facebook.com/keepingthem.
Through her several avenues of outreach, Ross-Paul says she has helped a handful of women receive cryoablation treatment by Littrup, and “has learned that women need a cure for cancer, and they want that cure to not involve losing their breast through a mastectomy or disfiguring it with a lumpectomy.”
She said that “while a cure for breast cancer might someday achieve these goals through the simple action of taking a pill, that day has not yet come,” and that “in the meantime, cryoablation can put breast cancer in remission, giving women what they need, and not disfigur[ing] a woman’s breast, thus giving women what they want.”
“The beauty of cryoablation,” Ross-Paul said, “is that it is breast conserving — I was able to avoid a mastectomy,” its low morbidity — “I never needed more than a Tylenol,” and its inexpensive cost compared to surgery. Ross-Paul says another major benefit of cryoablation is that in about half of all cases, “cryoablation naturally stimulates the body’s immune system to develop an immunity to the cancer as it eats up the now-dead tumors.”
Ross-Paul has recently been asked to speak at the 5th International Forum on Cancer Treatment to be held July 1-3 in Guangzhou, China, which will be her second speaking engagement at this forum. The focus of the 2016 forum will be on treatment of cancer by cryosurgery, irreversible electroporation (IRE), immunotherapy, and stem cell treatment for cancer.
The forum is organized by the International Society of Cryosurgery and Asian Society of Cryosurgery, Fuda Cancer Hospital, Jinan University School of Medicine, and the First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University. The organizers have invited experts and peers from around the world, including America, the U.K., Japan, Australia, and other authorities.
“I appreciate the forum organizing committee’s inclusion of a patient pioneer to speak alongside the doctors and researchers,” Ross-Paul said.
One thought on “Breast Cancer News announces~Minimally Invasive Breast Cancer Cryotherapy Largely Ignored in U.S., Says Advocate and 13-Year Survivor”
Please forward this Breast Cancer News articles to ALL your women friends and family about cryoablation. I did an infrared scan on one other woman who went to have cryoablation with Dr Littrup in 2010. She had a “Hot” thermography scan with blood vessels leading to the tumor prior to cryosurgery. Afterwards the mass became 80% smaller, was thermally cold without any metabolic activity and the blood flow was totally shut off. All she had left 2 years post cryo was a dime sized area of scar tissue! It took 40 minutes as an outpatient procedure with some local anesthesia and ultrasound, then she went out to lunch with her daughter and took 2 Tylenol later in the day. In the 35 years I have been in medical practice and the ten years I have had my infrared camera, I have never seen anything as amazing !
Cryoablation will change the way breast cancer care is delivered and will conserve the breast. I hope that women who have a palpable mass or a region that can be seen on abnormal structural studies like a mammogram or ultrasound and who have an abnormal TH4 or TH5 thermography would be offered Cryoablation. Currently they are told, “Well we aren’t quite sure about this area. Please come back in 6 months and we can see if it is any larger”. The woman is frightened and has to wait around for 6 months of potential tumor doubling time to “See if it got bigger”.
If men can have their prostate cancers frozen in place, another Dr Littrup invention for the cryo equipment, then why aren’t women’s breast cancers taken care of in the same way ? ? ? There are insurance codes to bill insurances for cryo surgery/ cryoablation to freeze prostates, cervical cancers and skin lesions.
Women need to raise their voices to their providers, insurance companies, the press and women’s groups and breast cancer activist groups to DEMAND equal care to have our breast cancers treated and paid for by insurance companies like the men!
Breast cancer care now may cost over $25,000+ per woman for a simple lumpectomy as an out patient day surgery to about $65,000 to $67,500 for a mastectomy hospital experience with additional fees. I was able to gather some estimated costs as a ball park without the coresponding CPT codes that would make this more accurate. The In- patient hospital costs for a simple mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy averages about $60,000 which only covers the hospital facility. (Facility costs, which include IVs, medications, pre surgery nursing/ intake visit and anesthesiologist MD consulting pre surgery/ dressings etc and the post op unit facility only costs). There are additional fees for the anesthesiologist care during surgery (not listed here but needs to be added based on time). The surgeon’s pre op office visit averages $300-$600 and post surgery visits (not listed here/ variable as to how often the woman needs to return to see the surgeon and how long the visit is). There is also the surgeon’s fees for doing the procedure which is also based on time in the operating room ranges from about $1,400 to $3,500 ( for a modified mastectomy). Add to this the pathology reports for a core biopsy ranges from $192 to $400/ if a lumpectomy or mastectomy is done with more tissue to be evaluated that may be up to $1,000. There is preoperative lab work (not listed here for costs). In some cases overnight stays in the hospital for some mastectomy patients or women who may need a couple days to stabilize with drains etc( those costs variable for type of room and different hospital room fees by area).
Most breast cancer patients treated with a lumpectomy are then usually sent off to radiation oncology or medical oncology or both…..the costs for these service are on top of the lumpectomy charges above and are quite variable. What happens to mastectomy patients is also variable for after care by oncologists.
As you can clearly see, the insurances and the woman and her family would save quite a lot of money doing a safe outpatient/ office procedure taking 30-40 minutes with some Novocaine and a small dressing. The woman needs to discuss with her surgeon or radiologist who does the cryo ablation if anything further is needed for her after care. That is an individual decision.
I think the hold up in not having cryoablation moved from its “Investigational status” in the past 13 years and as of this writing, 3,800 successfully treated Chinese women, is that it is taking quite a lot of money out of the breast cancer industry’s pockets. The cancer industry would have been making sizeable money doing “Standard of Care ” treatment of mastectomy or lumpectomy with additional radiation, chemotherapy or estrogen blockade to follow the lumpectomy or mastectomy.
I am hoping to be included in an upcoming clinical study for cryoablation to do an infrared scan prior to cryo, 6 weeks post cryo and then 6 months later. If there is thermal activity the surgeon or radiologist could adjunctively use infrared thermography to help them locate the area that is still active thermally and do another cryo treatment to that area in case they did not get all of it the first time. Infrared has no radiation and is 100% pain/ risk free and women could be safely followed over time.
If you wish to be put on a list to be included in this potential cryo/ infrared study in the Pacific Northwest, please contact my office. In the mean time, women should be following my Proactive Breast Wellness protocol to reduce risk of breast cancer or its reoccurrence. The women are waiting for this information to “Protect OUR Breasts” !
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