Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging


Cryoablation therapy is an alternative to surgery (lumpectomy) that kills cancer cells using extreme cold. Used to treat primary, early-stage invasive breast cancer, a needle is inserted through the skin and guided by ultrasound. The needle is inserted directly into the cancerous area to kill the diseased tissue. Only a tiny incision, small enough to be covered by a Band-Aid, is needed.

Cryoablation creates a ball of ice that encases the tumor and a small amount of normal breast tissue. A cycle of freezing and thawing is used during the treatment, which lasts about 30 minutes. When the tissue dies, the immune system’s white blood cells clear away any residue. Over time, healthy tissue fills in the treated area.

You can learn more about cryoblation by speaking to one of our experts by calling 401-444-5707 or by emailing

Robert C. Ward, MD, Radiologist

A Leader in Cryoablation

Robert C. Ward, MD, Radiologist has performed over 50 breast cryoablation cases at Rhode Island Hospital since 2016 with excellent clinical results.

The publications of Robert C. Ward, MD include:


Roknsharifi S, Wattamwar K, Fishman MDC, Ward RC, Ford K, Faintuch S, Joshi S, Dialani V. Image-guided Microinvasive Percutaneous Treatment of Breast Lesions: Where Do We Stand? Radiographics. 2021 Jul-Aug;41(4):945-966. doi: 10.1148/rg.2021200156. PMID: 34197250.

Regan-Tuero H, Ward RC, Sikov WM, Littrup PL. Cryoablation and immunotherapy for breast cancer: overview and rationale for combined therapy. Radiol Imaging Cancer. 2021 Feb 26;3(2):e200134. doi: 10.1148/rycan.2021200134. PMID: 33817653; PMCID: PMC8011444.


Ward RC, Lourenco AP, Mainiero MB. Implementing breast cryoablation in practice. Journal of Breast Imaging. 2020 Jan 17;2(1):61-66. doi:10.1093/jbi/wbz077.


Ward RC, Wang Y, Lourenco AP, Mainiero MB. Symptomatic fibroadenoma resolves status post cryoablation. R I Med J (2013). 2019 Oct 1;102(8):49-52. PubMed PMID: 31575100.

Ward RC, Lourenco AP, Mainiero MB. US-guided breast cancer cryoablation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Sep;213(3):716-722. doi:10.2214/AJR.19.21329. Epub 2019 May 23. PubMed PMID: 31120790.