A diagnosis of prostate cancer is certainly concerning in part because of the unknowns of treatment and outcomes. Fortunately, many types of prostate cancer are successfully treated. HIFU treatment for prostate cancer is effective and beneficial for many patients. Here’s what you need to know about HIFU procedures for prostate cancer.
What Is HIFU?
HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. This treatment uses a focused ultrasound beam to heat and destroy the diseased tissue. Once the diseased tissue is dead, it is naturally expelled from the body.
Who Is a Candidate for HIFU Treatments?
HIFU for prostate cancer is most effective when the cancer is localized to the prostate and hasn’t spread to the surrounding tissue. It may also be an option for individuals whose cancer has returned after radiation or for those who want a less invasive treatment.
How Effective Is HIFU?
HIFU is a relatively new procedure for the treatment of prostate cancer, so the long-term results aren’t known yet. The difference in HIFU treatment is that the prostate is left intact since no surgery is involved and only the diseased tissue is affected. It’s unknown if removing the cancerous tissue alone is an aggressive enough treatment for prostate cancer.
What Are the Benefits of HIFU?
HIFU treatments are beneficial for men who aren’t surgical candidates because the cancer can still be removed without the risks associated with surgery. It also offers a less invasive approach than radiation, which can have some serious side effects and long-term problems. Because of the non-invasive nature of this procedure, most patients can return to normal activity within a few days.
What Are the Side Effects of HIFU?
Patients who undergo HIFU treatments are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction or sexual impotence. It may also cause urinary problems like frequency, burning, or incontinence. These possible side effects should be discussed with your doctor when discussing treatment to determine what the best course of action is.