Prostate cancer is a common cancer diagnosis among men, but Inland Empire men should recognize that is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Men in Rancho Mirage who visit their urologist on a regular basis will find that they have the opportunity to utilize early detection screening for prostate cancer. This allows the urology expert to detect the cancer early in its development, and provide patients with the best options for treatment. One prostate cancer treatment option is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU.
What is HIFU?
HIFU is a prostate cancer treatment option that utilizes high frequency sound waves in order to destroy the cancerous tissue in the prostate. These sound waves are able to heat up the tissue in the body and subsequently destroy it, which is why it is being used as a cancer treatment option. In order to best perform HIFU, the urologist will insert a transrectal probe into the rectum of the patient. The ultrasound waves can then be focused on the prostate, which is located deep in the pelvic region. This give the urologist the most accurate and direct contact with the cancer in the prostate.
What are the Advantages of HIFU?
The main reason that patients are opting to try the HIFU treatment option is that it is a non-invasive technique. One of the other main treatment options for prostate cancer is surgery, and the HIFU treatment can help patients avoid surgery. Patients also can avoid the common side effects associated with the prostatectomy, including erectile dysfunction and incontinence. This outpatient procedure is performed in a doctor’s office in a couple of hours, and patients do not have to endure a long and difficult recovery. Instead, they can continue living their lives and enjoying their day-to-day activities.
What are the Possible Risks and Side Effects?
One of the major risks of the HIFU treatment is the fact that it is a relatively new treatment option, and medical experts are not yet sure of the long-term side effects of this procedure. However, the immediate side effects include low risk of infection near the prostate, or slight urinary incontinence. Leaking urine is common in patients who are undergoing radiotherapy in combination with HIFU treatments.
HIFU is a relatively new treatment for prostate cancer, and patients who are considering this treatment option need to recognize this fact. While early trials of HIFU seem to suggest that it is a viable option for treating prostate cancer with great success, medical professionals and urology experts are not yet sure of how this treatment works in the long-term.