Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among American men. According to the American Cancer Society, almost any cells in the body can turn into cancer cells and spread. The prostate, or reproductive gland in men, is located in front of the lower intestine, and is the organ responsible for producing the fluid that makes up semen. Most prostate cancers are of the adenocarcinoma variety, which means they develop from the gland cells.
Silver linings and cancer don’t typically go hand in hand; however, one important aspect that distinguishes prostate cancer from many other varieties is that it typically advances slowly. If your doctor detects prostate abnormalities early, there are a myriad of treatments that can eradicate it completely.
Many Urologic surgeons are harnessing the incredible power of a cutting-edge treatment known as High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). One office that is a huge proponent of it is Urologic Surgeons of Arizona, an experienced team led by Dr. Kashif Alvi – a Harvard trained urologist.
You may associate cancer treatments with chemotherapy & radiation, making HIFU sound different; however, this non-invasive, radiation-free method is approved by the Food & Drug Administration, and highly successful in destroying and treating cancerous prostate tissue. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, HIFU’s overall success rate was 84% (and 94.2% for the low risk group). This is proof positive that the days of living beyond prostate cancer are here.
You may be wondering how it works. HIFU is a type of focal therapy – meaning that it addresses localized cancer in an exact area of the prostate, rather than the whole area. Your physician will emit high-intensity sound waves through an ultrasound probe that is inserted into the rectum. The heat released from said waves obliterates the damaged tissue. Don’t fret; this procedure may sound uncomfortable, but it’s actually fairly quick and painless. From start to finish the outpatient procedure lasts about an hour, plus it doesn’t require a hospital stay (so you can get back to your daily routines faster).
Side effects are a common worry among those receiving cancer treatment. It’s no surprise, as the list of negative effects from external beam radiation are extensive – ranging from Erectile Dysfunction to loss of bladder control. These troublesome aftereffects don’t coincide very often with HIFU.
HIFU is also highly effective for use on patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate. If you’re experiencing trouble urinating, weak stream, or complete inability to urinate, you may be experiencing BPH, which occurs when the prostate becomes engorged and blocks the passage of urine through the urethra.
Because HIFU doesn’t use ionizing radiation, it can be repeated as needed. Whether you’ve undergone chemotherapy with no success, have difficulty urinating, or have been diagnosed with low-grade cancer (that hasn’t spread outside of the prostate), this therapy could be an alternative option you hadn’t considered.
Are you looking for comprehensive urology care? Urologic Surgeons of Arizona specialize in High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, and many other procedures that can enhance urological wellness. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact at (480) 409-5060.
2Focused Ultrasound Foundation (fusfoundation.org)