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Liquid nitrogen is a very cold liquid with a temperature of minus 200o Celsius. In the medical world, this liquid is usually used for several medical procedures and one of them is frozen therapy or cryotherapy.
Freeze therapy is a method of freezing certain body parts with liquid nitrogen for a few minutes. This therapy is usually done to damage or destroy the growth of abnormal tissue, ranging from benign tumors to cancer cells.
In addition to abnormal tissue, liquid nitrogen is also often used to preserve various parts of the human body, such as blood cells, bone marrow, sperm, egg cells, and embryos.
Various Benefits of Liquid Nitrogen in Freezing Therapy
There are several benefits of liquid nitrogen used in frozen therapy, namely:
1. Solve skin problems
Liquid nitrogen is most often used to treat bumps or patches on the skin, such as warts, keloids, or solar keratosis, which are rough and scaly skin growths caused by the sun.
In addition, liquid nitrogen can also be used to treat early-stage skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
When doing freeze therapy to treat skin problems, doctors usually spray or attach a cotton swab that has been soaked in liquid nitrogen to the lump until it freezes. After that, the frozen lump will melt and detach from the skin surface by itself.
After undergoing the procedure, the skin will usually be numb or painful, swollen, and red. However, this condition is only temporary. Treatment of skin problems with liquid nitrogen is usually successful in one treatment. However, additional treatment may be required for certain conditions.
2. Treating tumors
In addition to skin problems, freezing therapy with liquid nitrogen can also be used to destroy or kill tumor growth in the body. The types of tumors that are often used in frozen therapy are cervical tumors and benign bone tumors.
To freeze the tumor, doctors use a special tool in the form of a small tube that is inserted into the body through small incisions or punctures in the skin. During the procedure, the doctor will use an ultrasound or an MRI to guide the device to the location of the tumor.
When the tissue freezes, the tumor cells will die and thaw. In the end, the liquid will be absorbed by the body itself.
3. Treating cancer
The use of liquid nitrogen in frozen therapy procedures is also often used in the treatment of cancer. There are several types of cancer that can be treated with liquid nitrogen, including:
- Prostate cancer
- Cervical cancer
- liver cancer
- bone cancer
The frozen therapy procedure with liquid nitrogen can also be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments, such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery.
Frozen therapy is considered to be more effective in minimizing the risk of pain and bleeding compared to surgery. However, this procedure still has side effects.
The side effects that appear depend on which part of the body is given liquid nitrogen. For example, on the cervix it can cause cramping or pain, while its use on the skin can cause swelling or scarring.
To be safer and have minimal side effects, frozen therapy using liquid nitrogen must be carried out according to doctor's recommendations. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor first to get information about the implementation procedure, benefits, and risks that can occur.