Hifu Treatment For Prostate Cancer

High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy, when used for the treatment of prostate cancer makes use of ultrasound waves at “high intensity” level to ablate/destroy the tissue of the prostate by focusing the beam of sound waves unto the tumor. The procedure applies the sound waves at such intensity that they are able to heat the prostate tissue until they destroy the cancerous cells. The ‘focused’ part of the process involves the precise application of the ultrasonic waves on specific areas of the prostate where the cancer is located.

This has to be properly done in order to eliminate the entire malignancy while maintaining minimal risks of affecting other tissue or organs. Similar in a sense to radiation therapy, it is actually radically different in that the focal point of the sound waves has the highest intensity of ultrasonic waves that are able to reach immensely high temperatures such that the normal tissues in the surroundings are not harmed.

The temperatures that can be reached at the focal point of the sound waves may well surpass the 100 °C (212 °F) mark; and the ability to focus the ultrasonic waves combines with that to allow for relatively low occurrence of either incontinence or impotence, which is so much better than most other prostate cancer interventions can boast of. According to the facts sheet, loss of continence occurs only 0.6% of the time, and impotence 0-20%.

Although already in use in some parts of the world (especially in Europe), the HIFU procedure is still being studied for flaws and other ways to make it better. Preliminary international studies reveal that there is a high success rate associated with HIFU, as well as reduced risk of side effects. As a matter of fact, a study of patients who had 10ng/ml or lower blood PSA levels showed that treating them with HIFU left 94% of them still cancer-free after three years. There is a need to be more critical about these facts because the study was carried out by the manufacturers of HIFU devices, which may precursor some kind of prejudice.

Contrary to indications, HIFU is not even a new procedure. The process was first used in the ’40s to attempt to destroy tumors in the central nervous system. That was a long time ago, but the process has really gotten so much better by now – it is now shown to be effective at destroying malignant tissue in the prostate, as well as a number of other organs in the body such as the spleen, liver, kidney, breast, and bone.

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