HIFU Prostate Cancer Treatment
Introduction: HIFU prostate cancer treatment is one of the most rapidly growing treatment methods around the world.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. In the early stages, medication might be used to treat the condition. However if the cancer tumor spreads, then surgery might be needed. People dread going for surgery as there are notorious side effects like impotence and urinary incontinence associated with prostate cancer surgeries. But with the introduction of HIFU, things have changed.
HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. The advantage of using HIFU prostate cancer treatment is that it is very precise and does not come with side effects like with traditional surgery procedures. In this treatment method, high intensity ultrasound waves are used to destroy the cancer cells.
Pros and Cons of HIFU Prostate Cancer Treatment:
Ultrasound waves are focused on the diseased location. The temperature at that location rises up to 90 degree Celcius in just a few seconds time. This rapid heating causes the cancer cells to be burned up and destroyed. The success rate of HIFU prostate cancer treatment is similar to other surgeries, but without any negative side effects. That is the reason for the suddenly rising popularity of this treatment method.
The patient will not require very long hospital stay. In most cases, he can walk out the same day the operation is performed. In HIFU prostate cancer treatment, the patient is given local anesthetic and then a probe is inserted through his anus. The whole process takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. At the end of this, the patient can walk out of the hospital without the enlarged prostate.
However there are certain downsides to HIFU prostate cancer treatment. First of all, it is very costly. So everybody cannot afford it. Secondly, only those patients can be treated whose cancer has not spread outside of the prostate gland. Another drawback is that this treatment is relatively new and there is not much statistical data yet on its long term success. Although the results published so far have been very promising, there might be some side effects which have not come to light as yet.
For this reason, HIFU prostate cancer treatment is not yet approved in United States by the FDA. It is however approved in various other countries like China, Japan, Mexico, European nations etc. It may take another few years before FDA finally agrees to allow this treatment in USA.
Quite often, patients successfully treated with HIFU might not have required any surgery at all. They might have been perfect candidates for 'watchful waiting', in which doctors wait and carefully monitor the growth of prostate cancer before beginning treatment.