A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be terrifying, even knowing there are many treatments available. But knowing about less invasive treatment options like high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can help put your mind at ease as you enter the treatment process. Here are a few things to know about HIFU prostate cancer treatment.
What is HIFU?
HIFU uses ultrasound waves to heat and destroy areas of tissue that are specifically targeted, such as cancerous areas on the prostate. Although the waves are focused on a certain area to destroy tissue, they can actually pass through healthy tissue without damaging it because the waves only heat up where they are targeted to focus. This is one of the least invasive treatments available since there are no incisions or other harmful drugs or radiation required.
Who is a Candidate for HIFU?
HIFU is an excellent treatment option for men who have prostate cancer return because HIFU is non-ionizing, so it can be repeated and used after other treatment options have failed. It is also a very effective treatment for patients with cancer that has not metastasized outside of the prostate and is still localized. Of course, every case is different, so all treatment options will be discussed thoroughly before HIFU is determined to be a viable course of action.
What Are the Benefits of HIFU?
HIFU is beneficial for many patients because it doesn’t subject the patient to radiation and is very non-invasive, especially compared to treatments that require resection of the prostate and other invasive surgeries. The procedure can take as little as one hour and is an outpatient procedure, so you won’t even have to stay in the hospital. Local anesthesia is used and recovery time in the medical facility is usually only an hour or two. Most patients don’t even experience pain that requires prescription medication. Another benefit of HIFU is that there are very few side effects and complications, and if other treatments for prostate cancer are still necessary, HIFU treatments won’t prevent you from receiving those treatments.