Facts about HIFU Treatments for Prostate Cancer

If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be presented with several options for treatment. You and your doctor will work together to determine the right course of treatment for you. One option you may not have heard of is high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU. Here’s what you should know about HIFU for prostate cancer treatment.

What Makes HIFU Different?

HIFU treatment for prostate cancer uses ultrasound waves to kill cancer cells. It can actually pass through healthy tissue to specifically target the cancer cells, meaning there are fewer negative side effects. There are no incisions, drugs, or harmful radiation to deal with, making it one of the safest and least invasive cancer treatment options available.

When Is HIFU Used?

Not every type of cancer can be treated by HIFU. Since it’s so specific, it only works in a localized area–not on cancers that have metastasized to another part of the body. In addition, it doesn’t travel through air or solid bone, so it can only be used in certain areas of the body. Some of the types of cancer it’s used on include kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and of course, prostate cancer.

HIFU Success Rate

HIFU prostate cancer treatments have a fairly high rate of success. About 84% of patients treated with this method achieve remission. Like other treatments, the faster you catch the cancer, the more likely the treatment will be successful. HIFU isn’t usually used in more advanced stages of cancer, especially once the cancer has started to metastasize.

Side Effects of HIFU

Because HIFU treatments are minimally invasive and don’t harm surrounding tissue, there aren’t a lot of negative side effects associated with them. You may experience some soreness in the area for a few days, but that will probably be it. Your risk of complications like incontinence and erectile dysfunction are minimal, unlike other prostate cancer treatments. And, you won’t have the negative side effects associated with radiation or potent chemotherapy medicines.