For prostate cancer patients in the United Kingdom, 2014 brought excellent news. For the first time on March 3, 2014, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) became a treatment option for patients at Southampton General Hospital. Until this change, the treatment had only been available to private patients who were able to pay for it out of their own pockets. HIFU offers the ability for focal therapy of localized prostate cancer or whole gland therapy. It has pinpoint accuracy, able to target an area as small as a grain of rice. This allows for less complications and faster recovery times. It also allows prostate cancer patients to avoid unnecessary and risk-filled invasive surgery.
Tim Dudderidge, a consultant urological surgeon at the hospital, was responsible for administering the first four treatments after the announcement. Prior to March, he had performed the treatment on private patients at the hospital. His experience delivering HIFU treatment has been largely positive. HIFU delivers a high frequency beam of ultrasound waves to the tumors in the prostate gland. This effectively treats the cancer with much less risk of life-altering side effects like incontinence and impotence. The procedure is a clean energy procedure, so it can be repeated if needed, and patients can return home the same day they are treated.
As HIFU gains popularity across the globe, it provides hope for prostate cancer patients. However, it’s also important for men facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer to remember that often the condition does not behave as a traditional cancer. Many prostate cancers behave noncancerous and do not pose a risk to the patient. Often treatment, even lower-risk treatment, causes more problems than it solves. The risks of prostate cancer treatment have the potential to impact a patients’ quality of life tremendously, and may not be worth any potential benefit. – See more at: http://www.hifurx.com/blog/#sthash.Ch1jUvp6.dpuf