Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer affects one in nine men in the United States. In the past, prostate cancer treatment usually involved surgery or radiation therapy. However, a new breakthrough prostate treatment offers an alternative to surgery.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
The new treatment is called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), which is a non-invasive procedure that uses focused ultrasound waves to destroy cancer cells. HIFU has been used for more than a decade to treat prostate cancer in Europe and Asia, and the procedure is now available in the United States.
HIFU is performed under anesthesia, and the patient lies on a table while an ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum. The probe transmits focused ultrasound waves to heat and destroy the cancer cells. The procedure is monitored in real time using an imaging technique called MRI. The MRI images provide the doctor with a real-time view of the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues, allowing for precise targeting of the cancer cells.
Advantages of HIFU
One of the advantages of HIFU is that it is a non-invasive procedure, which means that there is no surgical incision required. This reduces the risks associated with surgery and the recovery time. Patients can usually go home the same day as the procedure, and most people can return to their normal activities within a few days.
Another advantage of HIFU is that it is a targeted treatment. The ultrasound waves are directed only at the cancer cells, sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. This reduces the risk of complications such as incontinence and impotence, which are common side effects of surgery and radiation therapy.
HIFU is not suitable for all patients with prostate cancer. The procedure is most effective for men with early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the gland. However, for eligible patients, HIFU has a high success rate, with up to 90% of patients experiencing complete remission of their cancer.
In conclusion, breakthrough prostate treatment offers an alternative to surgery. High-intensity focused ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that uses focused ultrasound waves to destroy cancer cells. HIFU is a targeted treatment that reduces the risk of complications such as incontinence and impotence. While HIFU is not suitable for all patients, it offers a promising new option for men with early-stage prostate cancer.