Please note the "Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments
provided on Google Answers are general information, and are
not intended to substitute for informed professional medical,
psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting,
or other professional advice.
Other than potential scarring, skin discoloration, blistering and
ulceration, which might lead to pain and infection, (which could be
considered "harmful"), cryosurgery, (also called cryotherapy)
which is "extreme cold used to treat precancerous skin conditions",
it appears that cryosurgery is a relatively good way of treatment
for removing precancerous skin cells, according to the Swedish
Medical Center website.
"Cryosurgery: Extreme cold may be used to treat precancerous skin
conditions, such as actinic keratosis, as well as certain small
skin cancers. In cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen is applied to the
growth to freeze and kill the abnormal cells. After the area
thaws, the dead tissue falls off. More than one freezing may be
needed to remove the growth completely. Cryosurgery usually does
not hurt, but patients may have pain and swelling after the area
thaws. A white scar may form in the treated area."
Paul J. Weber, M.D., P.A. "favors the use of liquid nitrogen freezes
in many precancer cases." There might even be an advantage to using
cyrosurgery, according to Dr. Weber's website.
"In skilled hands, the odds of scarring are low. There is, however,
a chance of depigmenting (permanently lightening) the skin, depending
upon the depth of the precancer treated. A benefit of liquid nitrogen
is that most precancers frozen with liquid nitrogen heal within a
If it takes much longer to heal, that may be a healthy sign or hint
that the precancer is deeper than can be seen with the naked eye, is
made of more abnormal cells or may be an entirely different cancer
altogether. The hint could arouse the patient or surgeon to biopsy the
area and test the biopsy in the lab, leading to the discovery of a
cancer, which can then be treated properly."
The Healthcommunities.com, Inc. Oncology Channel website points out
that cryosurgery should not be be used on all parts of the body or
beyond small areas.
"This method is not recommended for large tumors or for tumors on the
eyelids, nose, ears, scalp or legs."
The National Cancer Institute has a web page titled "Questions and
Answers About Cryosurgery in Cancer Treatment" that points out some
conditions that are being treated with cryosurgery, along with some
advantages and disadvantages of the process.
"2. What types of cancer can be treated with cryosurgery?"
"For certain types of cancer and precancerous conditions, however,
cryosurgery has proven to be an effective therapy. ... Precancerous
skin growths known as actinic keratosis ... can be treated with
"6. What are the advantages of cryosurgery?"
"Cryosurgery offers some advantages over other methods of cancer
treatment. It is less invasive than surgery, involving only a small
incision or insertion of the cryoprobe through the skin. Consequently,
pain, bleeding, and other complications of surgery are minimized."
"7. What are the disadvantages of cryosurgery?"
"The major disadvantage of cryosurgery is the uncertainty surrounding
its long-term effectiveness."
The Novartis Foundation for Gerontology Health and Age website points
out other advantages and disadvantages of cryosurgery.
"It can remove even wide areas of actinic keratoses and may be more
effective over the long term than treatment with 5-fluorouracil, the
standard drug. Cryosurgery also appears to reduce the risk for
cell carcinoma in these patients."
"Cryotherapy achieves good cosmetic results for many patients.
it may cause blistering and ulceration, leading to pain and infection,
as well as harmless, but undesirable, skin-color changes."
If you need any clarification, feel free to ask.
Google search on: "liquid nitrogen" treatment precancerous skin cells
Google search on: cryosurgery treatment precancerous skin cells
Looking Forward, denco-ga