The patients could be treated without surgery following the development of a technique which destroys tumors by turning them into a ball of ice.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
Now, doctors have begun treating women suffering from breast cancer, in trials, using a super-cooled needle tip to repeatedly freeze then defrost tumors, which has the ultimate effect of killing the harmful tissue.
The technique can be completed in about 15 minutes, and provide an alternative to surgery, which often requires women to stay in hospital for up to one week, and leaves them with scars.
The device has already been approved for use in the United States, with IceCure hoping for European approval next year.
One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, with the rate rising.