Advancements in technology are changing the way prostate cancer is being treated. Men with prostate cancer now have more treatment options than the standard aggressive approaches of surgery or radiation. An elite 1% ofurologists are certified to treat patients with HIFU, a therapy that has similar oncologic outcomes as radiation and surgery but with significantly reduced risk of side effects. HIFU, or High Intensity Frequency Ultrasound, is revolutionizing prostate cancer treatment around the world.
Here are four reasons why men should embrace HIFU.
1. Cancer outcomes
One of the most important concerns when choosing a cancer treatment is the rate of success. HIFU has been done around the world since the late 1990’s, so there is considerable long-term data regarding oncologic outcomes. Several well-constructed trials out of Germany, France, England and Japan have demonstrated that HIFU provides excellent cancer-free survival rates that are almost identical to those seen with surgery and radiation.
2. Lowest Risk of Side Effects
Another important consideration is the risk for potential treatment-related side effects. This is especially true for men with prostate cancer since urinary function and sexual function can be greatly affected by any treatments to the prostate. While all treatments come with some associated risk, men are especially concerned about the risk of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and loss of ejaculate. HIFU targets prostate cancer tissue while leaving the healthy tissue and anatomic structures that are critical for maintaining normal sexual and urinary function intact. The risk for side effects is even lower when focal therapy HIFU is performed.
3. Minimal Recovery
Recovery from prostate cancer treatments such as radiation and surgery can be long and arduous, lasting six to eight weeks. With HIFU, the procedure is performed in an outpatient setting taking less than three hours to complete. Recovery time with HIFU is minimal, with most men back to normal activities within a few days following treatment.
4. Less Invasive
For most men with cancer, the idea of going through surgery or radiation is intimidating. A radical prostatectomy, while indicated for certain prostate cancer patients, comes with a 1 to 2 day hospital stay. Radiation therapy requires multiple treatments over a period of weeks or months, except in the case of brachytherapy. HIFU uses ultrasound energy to quickly heat and destroy prostate cancer tissue using real-time imaging of the prostate. There is no pain during treatment and there is no overnight stay required with HIFU.
Dr. Tracy Gapin of Sarasota Prostate Care is one of only a handful of urologists in the United States with extensive HIFU experience. He is proud to offer consultations to men with questions regarding HIFU for the treatment of prostate cancer.