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Can Ultrasound Help You Fight Prostate Cancer and Avoid Surgery?

As the founder of SonaCare Medical, and the first American urologist to perform HIFU in 2001 in this part of the world, as well as having the opportunity to serve as medical director for the company’s FDA clinical trial and approval, it is extremely rewarding to see the adoption of this technology on a global scale. Although there’s an element of operator skill and experience that comes with time, this is a true medical breakthrough for the treatment of prostate cancer beyond a cure. It is equally important when it comes to the preservation of quality of life issues as it pertains to erectile function and urinary incontinence.

Prostate Cancer Image

Did you know that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males? While some men may shy away from discussing such health concerns with their primary care physicians, it’s beneficial for you to ask your doctor about a relatively new treatment called high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy. While it has the potential to help those with localized prostate cancer avoid surgery or radiation therapy, it also produces minimal side effects in comparison to more traditional treatments. So let’s explore if HIFU is right for you.

Known as a focal therapy technique, HIFU targets a specific area of the prostate rather than the whole gland. High-intensity sound waves target the tumor through an ultrasound probe that’s inserted into the rectum. The surgeon has the ability to control the probe via the aid of a robotic arm. In order to kill off the cancerous tissue, the probe heats up to 80 degrees Celsius, or 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

A large advantage of HIFU therapy is that the treatment avoids the inconvenience of an overnight hospital stay with little to no pain or medication. It is an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour. Without a surgical incision or radiation, the patient can go home after the placement of a catheter. Best of all, men who choose HIFU are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence after the procedure. So if you have a prostate cancer diagnosis, HIFU therapy is an option you should discuss with your doctor.