Breast cancer care during a pandemic: an opportune time for cryoablation?

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Breast cancer research and treatment


Ambulatory Surgical Procedures; Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal; Anxiety; Betacoronavirus; Breast Neoplasms; Coronavirus Infections; Cryosurgery; Female; Humans; Mastectomy; Mastectomy, Segmental; Neoadjuvant Therapy; Neoplasm Staging; Pandemics; Personal Protective Equipment; Pneumonia, Viral; Risk Assessment; Time-to-Treatment; 2019-nCoV


PURPOSE: Cryoablation is a minimally-invasive percutaneous procedure that is capable of reducing the psychosocial burden of surgical delay while also decreasing the morbidity of breast cancer therapy. The purpose of this editorial is to discuss the potential role of cryoablation for reducing the psychosocial burden of surgical delay during the COVID-19 pandemic by expediting the management of breast cancer while also lessening demand on limited healthcare resources.

METHODS: This editorial critiques current expert opinion recommendations that aim to reduce viral transmission and preserve healthcare resources during the COVID-19 pandemic by advocating delay of elective breast cancer surgery.

RESULTS: The editorial summarizes the current state of the evidence that supports the selective use of cryoablation as a definite or stopgap measure in the management of breast cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic or when healthcare resources are limited.

CONCLUSIONS: As an office-based procedure performed under local anesthesia, cryoablation eliminates the need for operating room personnel and equipment while also reducing the psychosocial impact of delayed breast cancer surgery. By reducing the number of patient and healthcare provider interactions, cryoablation not only decreases the risk of viral transmission but also the need for personal protective devices during resource-limited times.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Women & Children


Infectious Diseases