Cryosurgery is the application of extremely low temperature to destroy abnormal tissue. The technique has been successful in treating some types of cancers and skin diseases. Extreme low temperature for cryosurgery is achieved through use of liquid nitrogen or argon gas. For treatment of external conditions, liquid nitrogen is applied to the diseased skin cells with help of a cotton swab or spraying devices can also be used. For treating internal conditions, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is passed through hollow probes, which are efficiently guided by MRI or ultrasound. Cryosurgery has been successfully applied for treating cancers such as retinoblastoma, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, and cervical cancer; the technique is also used for treating cervical dysplasia.
Being a minimally invasive procedure, cryosurgery is preferred over open surgeries. Hence the demand for such procedures is increasing, boosting cryosurgery market. Moreover as the application is localized and restricted to the abnormal tissues, healthy tissue is maintained and side effects are reduced. Cryosurgery treatment can also be used in combination with other methods such as hormone therapy, radiation and chemotherapy and reduce the use of drugs causing harmful side effects. Although various merits favor the acceptance of cryosurgery, some demerits have restricted the market growth.
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Some of the common side effects include erythema, pain and hypopigmentation. Lower effectiveness of the treatment is the major factor questioning the market growth. Lower awareness and inadequate clinical data for safety has resulted in lesser reimbursement rates. But as technology advances, the drawbacks are bound to disappear and the market will grow.
North America and Europe account for majority of the global cryosurgery market share. Healthcare sector in these geographies is well developed and equipped with latest technologies. Trained healthcare professionals, available disposable income and favorable reimbursement policies are key factors responsible for the market growth.
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As the technology advances, improved devices will hit the market and increase competition, which may pressurize players to reduce price of cryosurgery devices. As more and more cryosurgeries are performed, regulatory agencies and insurance providers will have more data available to validate the safety of cryosurgery; this will increase reimbursements for such procedures. Rapidly developing economies of countries in Asia Pacific and Latin America will also result in more developed and sophisticated healthcare sector.
Increasing per capita income and growing awareness of available medical services is expected to drive the cryotherapy market in these developing economies. Prevalence of cancer in developing countries is higher as compared to developed countries according to World Health Organization (WHO).
Statistics by WHO detail that cancer mortality in the developing countries are expected to reach 6.7 million by 2015. According to another data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010 more than 11,000 females were diagnosed with cervical cancer and around 4,000 females died due to the cancer in the U.S. alone. This suggests that high demand exists for cure of cancer across the globe. This rising prevalence will ultimately help the market grow in the future. India, China, Japan, and Brazil are expected to be the most lucrative markets in the future.
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The devices used for cryosurgery include dewars, spray guns, probes and cryosurgery units. Some of the key players in this market include Cryoalfa Europe Ltd, CryoConcepts LP, Mectronic Medicale srl, Wallach Surgical Devices, Medtronic, CryoProbe, Cortex Technology, and Brymill Cryogenics Systems.