from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The selective exposure of tissues to extreme cold, often by applying a probe containing liquid nitrogen, to bring about the destruction or elimination of abnormal cells.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun medicine The use of a probe containing liquid nitrogen to freeze and thus destroy tissue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the use of extreme cold (usually liquid nitrogen) to destroy unwanted tissue (warts or cataracts or skin cancers)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • That could be what Dr. Katz calls "active surveillance with possible delayed intervention" should the cancer start to grow, or for someone like the elderly New Yorker who wanted the cancer out, a relatively new procedure called cryosurgery.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The trial combines a freezing technology called cryosurgery with therapy in which white blood cells known as dendritic cells are multiplied more than 1 millionfold and used to activate the body's defenses, fighting the cancer wherever it has spread.

    Ventura County Star Stories

  • Cryotherapy is also used as a method of treating localized areas of some cancers (called cryosurgery), such as prostate cancer and to treat abnormal skin cells by dermatologists.

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  • Carnegie Mellon University's Yoed Rabin and Kenji Shimada have received a four-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop computerized training tools for cryosurgery, which is the destruction of undesired tissue, such as cancerous tumors and organs, by freezing.

    Health News from Medical News Today

  • The first case was a terrible oral tumor that was recovering after receiving cryosurgery -- freezing the tumor to kill it.

    Dr. Richard Palmquist: Exploring Integrative Veterinary Practice

  • An accomplished skier, he got back on his skis not long after the cryosurgery and, five hundred yards down an easy slope, slipped at three miles an hour on a patch of ice and broke his hip—which meant four months on crutches and in a wheelchair to avoid putting weight on the fractured bone.

    After the Diagnosis

  • It begins with slow-growing, pre-cancerous lesions which can be indentified with screening and removed with cryosurgery, the freezing technique used to remove warts, moles and small skin cancers.

    Craig and Marc Kielburger: How Screening Saves Lives

  • Then, cryosurgery is performed in the same visit to destroy the abnormal cells.

    Craig and Marc Kielburger: How Screening Saves Lives

  • She went over the list of treatment options: “cryosurgery, or freezing of the pre-cancerous cells; laser surgery to burn off whatever was left over.”

    This Family of Mine

  • And just about everywhere, but especially in Asia (see my recent article on the Global Post. com) and increasingly in Latin America, skin whitening -- using surgery, cryosurgery, lasers, whitening "needles" (administered in regimens), bleaches, and skin whitening creams and pills -- is surging.

    Phillip Martin: Skin Whitening in the Age of Barack Obama, Part One


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