Minimally Invasive Prostate Cancer Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you probably have many questions and concerns. You may be feeling confused, scared, lonely, angry, or sad. These feelings are normal, especially in the beginning when you are trying to understand your treatment options. However, it is important to keep in mind that prostate cancer can often be treated successfully, especially when it is found early. Because this cancer occurs often in older men, and because it sometimes grows very slowly, it is possible that it might not become a significant problem for you.
Some men gather all the information they can about their disease right away. Others may need to take things more slowly. In either case, though, having more information will help you make the best possible choices for yourself. Once you understand your disease and the tests your doctor ordered a little better, you may feel ready to explore treatment options. In any case, you will need to talk with your doctor about the specifics of your cancer and how best to treat it.
For example, if your cancer is an early stage and has not spread outside the prostate, you may be a candidate for high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).
What Is HIFU?
HIFU is an FDA approved minimally invasive prostate cancer therapy with precise, focused ultrasound waves that raise the temperature of the target tissue to nearly 195 degrees in 2-3 seconds. This rapid-fire heat destroys the targeted tissue but leaves the surrounding tissue intact.
What Should I Expect?
The control and precision of HIFU means patients usually require only one treatment. It is generally performed under local anesthesia and is an outpatient procedure, with little pain. Patients who choose HIFU usually return to a normal lifestyle within a few days. A catheter is left in place following the procedure for drainage of urine and will remain for two to three weeks.
Am I a Candidate For HIFU?
If you have been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside of the gland, you may be a candidate for HIFU. It is recommended that you discuss your individual medical records and history with a physician in order to confirm whether or not you qualify for HIFU.