Prostate Cancer Treatment With Ultrasound – Here is How You can Be Helped

Ultrasound Imaging is essentially a medical diagnostic technique in which very high frequency sound is directed into the body of a patient so that tissue interfaces can reflect the sound, and the resulting pattern of sound reflection is processed by an attached computer to produce a photograph or a moving image on a television. So, ultrasound can be used to examine many parts of the body even though it is best known as an application to examine a fetus during pregnancy.

With respect to prostate cancer, ultrasound can be employed both in diagnostics and in treatment. Specifically during a biopsy to confirm that a patient has prostate type of cancer, needles have to be inserted into the prostate to take small samples of tissue so that they can be examined under a microscope to determine how much they have changed or mutated before tests are carried out to stage the disease. This insertion of the biopsy needles often has to be guided by ultrasound imaging, especially to make it shorter because the procedure may cause some discomfort or pain.

In addition, in order to evaluate PSA levels in prostate malignant tumor patients, in particular PSA velocity, for men with levels between 4 and 10 ng/ml, measurement is sometimes carried out by ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging. This has not proven to be an effective screening test, but it is still being improved upon.

Cryosurgery is one revolutionary method of treating prostate problem in which the prostate gland is exposed to freezing temperatures that kill the cancerous cells while warm liquid in a catheter protects the urethra. In this process, the metal rods that introduce the freezing are inserted under ultrasound guidance through the skin of the perineum into the prostate before the freezing is introduced by highly purified Argon gas. This was a procedure invented by Dr. Gary Onik.

Cryosurgery causes fewer problems with urinary control than other treatments; has a 10 year biochemical disease free rate superior to all other treatments including radical prostatectomy and any form of radiation, especially when used as the initial treatment for prostate kind of cancer and in the hands of an experienced cryosurgeon; and it has been demonstrated to be superior to radical prostatectomy for recurrent cancer following radiation therapy. However, impotence still occurs up to ninety percent of the time.

Finally, high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, for prostate condition patients makes use of ultrasound technology to ablate and destroy the tissues of the prostate gland, a procedure during which sound waves heat the prostate tissue (in a manner similar to freezing during cryosurgery) thus destroying the cancerous cells. The ultrasonic waves have to be precisely focused on specific areas in order to eliminate the malignancy with minimal risks of affecting other tissue or organs and resulting in incontinence or impotence. Thankfully, these side effects have a relatively low occurrence in HIFU. However, the procedure is yet to be perfected, as is the case with cryosurgery.

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