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Case study: breast cryoablation – tumor close to the skin

Case studies

Breast tumor cryoablation can be successfully performed in women with small breasts, even when the tumor is close to the pectoralis muscle, with the correct saline techniques.

The challenge: to safely perform cryoablation when treating a patient with small breasts and a tumor close to the skin.


Patient Background: 52-year-old, Asian female presented with two bilateral breast invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) (cT1N0M0 Stage 1).


Treatment: the cryoablation procedure was performed under local anesthesia with ultrasound guidance in June 2012. The procedure targeted an 8mm lesion located in the right breast, one o’clock, close to the chest wall.

The cryoablation treatment cycle was 10-minute freeze, 10-minute thaw, 11-minute freeze. A saline injection technique was used during the freeze steps in order to create enough space between the chest wall and the ice ball.


Outcome: a vacuum-assisted biopsy performed one-month post-cryoablation collected 4 specimens; one in the center of the ablation and the other three in the ablation periphery. The biopsy revealed no viable cancer cells. Nine years after the cryoablation procedure, the patient has not exhibited any recurrence of breast cancer. There were no complications or adverse events from the cryoablation procedure and the patient had good cosmetic results.


A special thanks to Professor Eisuke Fukuma, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Breast Center, Kameda Medical Center, Japan.