HIFU Treatment for Prostate Cancer – A Promising Option
For men who are dealing with a prostate cancer diagnosis, choosing the right treatment is an overwhelming process. Patients and their families must weigh potential outcomes against potential side effects to choose a treatment that provides the best quality of life. For men in this situation, a new treatment has come available in the United States that could make the decision just a little easier. That treatment is HIFU.
What Is HIFU?
HIFU, which stands for high intensity focused ultrasound, uses high intensity ultrasound waves to heat a specific point inside the body. When used to treat prostate cancer, the technology allows the surgeon to quickly heat and destroy the prostate cancer, with temperatures at the focal point reaching nearly 195 degrees in just a few seconds. This revolutionary treatment option provides fast and effective treatment for prostate cancer that greatly reduces the risk of side effects.
How Does It Work?
To understand the scientific concept behind HIFU, consider an experiment many children love to perform. With a magnifying glass, a small child can direct heat onto a leaf, causing it to burn. The magnifying glass focuses the light at a specific point, the leaf, where temperatures increase quickly. However, the light streaming through the lens at any other point is harmless, and the child could pass his hand through that light without harm.
This is the same basic concept behind HIFU. During HIFU treatment, a surgeon will direct high intensity ultrasound waves to a specific point in the prostate gland, where the waves come together to heat and destroy the tissue. Away from this focal point, the ultrasound waves pass harmlessly through the tissue.
HIFU Treatment – What to Expect
A HIFU procedure begins with ultrasound imaging of the prostate gland using a transponder, which the surgeon will then use to map out the treatment delivery. After taking the initial images, the same transponder is used to deliver HIFU treatment, effectively destroying the cancer while protecting the surrounding tissues. During treatment, the surgeon is able to monitor tissue response, allowing the surgeon to adjust treatment to tailor it to the patient’s individual needs.
The entire HIFU procedure lasts between two and four hours, depending on the size of the prostate gland. Because the patient needs to be completely still, it is typically performed under general anesthesia. Most patients are in recovery for two to four hours, and are then able to return to their homes or hotels the same day treatment occurs. Patients are able to walk on their own and enjoy easy activities within days of treatment.
HIFU with the Sonablate
Men who wish to benefit from HIFU treatment for their prostate cancers have several options, but only one treatment delivery device provides precise imaging and targeted, individualized treatment. That device is the Sonablate.
The Sonablate is a HIFU delivery device that recently received FDA approval for use in the United States. With superior software, precise imaging and real-time response technology, the Sonablate gives physicians an unprecedented level of control over HIFU delivery. It is also the only HIFU treatment device that does not require a transurethral resection of the prostate, which helps men recover quickly with fewer risks and minimal discomfort.
The Sonablate is unique among HIFU treatment delivery devices because it uses real-time tissue response to allow the surgeon to customize treatment to each individual patient’s tissue response. It also allows for smaller lesion size, which allows the surgeon to treat more men without a transurethral resection of the prostate. The software also includes neurovascular bundle detection, which helps identify the structures responsible for erectile function, assisting the surgeon in protecting these vital structures during treatment.
Effective, Proven Prostate Cancer Treatment
While it is newly approved for use in the United States, the Sonablate is not new in international prostate cancer treatment. It has been used for several years in international treatment facilities, helping men from around the globe treat prostate cancer with minimal risk.
Since its development, the Sonablate has treated over 13,000 men across the globe, providing effective prostate cancer treatment with minimal risk of side effects. In clinical studies, the treatment proved quite effective, including a 92 percent success rate. Over 99 percent of men treated remain continent, and 70 percent retain erectile function. This is more effective with fewer side effects than most treatment options, making HIFU a favorite choice for men who wish to treat their prostate cancer and return to normal life quickly.
HIFU, and specifically HIFU with the Sonablate, is a promising treatment option for men who wish to treat their cancer but do not want to suffer side effects as a result. If you or someone you love is dealing with a prostate cancer diagnosis, take the time to consider the Sonablate and its benefits as you choose a treatment option.