Friday, March 02, 2012


More and more we are hearing about prostate cancer.   Men are living longer so the incidence of prostate cancer will be increasing.  Numbers indicate that a quarter of a million men will be diagnosed with this disease each year. Typically the men who are prone are those with a high fat diet, those who have issues with urination, men over 55, African American men and those with a family history of the disease.  The disease itself is kind of tricky because early on there are no symptoms.  The cancer at times is not a slow growing cancer so many times when it is detected it may have, in fact, spread to other areas.  Early screening can be very helpful in catching this disease early.

HIFU stands for high intensity focused ultrasound.  While there are many treatments for prostate cancer, HIFU is for the treatment of localized prostate cancer.  It is an outptient  treatment that uses ultrasound energy that is focused on particular areas of the prostate using a probe.  The areas that are targeted are actually heated up to 90 degrees quickly. In order for this treatment to be successful, lab studies and imaging need to be done to assure that the cancer is contained to just the prostate and has not spread.  In addition, the size of the prostate must be at 40g or less. Any sort of calcification  in the prostate needs to be ruled out as well.

To prepare for the  HIFU or high intensity focused ultrasound, there does have to be some preparation by the patient.  Two enemas need to be taken to be sure the bowel is clear.  If the prostate was enlarged or bigger than the 40g, it will need to be reduced via medication.  This will ensure the actual procedure is not too long.  General anesthesia or a spinal is used.  Depending on the size of the prostrate the procedure can last from one to four hours. During the recovery period a catheter is inserted and may be needed for one to two weeks.

HIFU does not have any of the complications of the other prostate cancer treatments....things like incontinence or impotence. No exposure to radiation either. The good thing about HIFU is that if needed it can be repeated if the cancer returns.  Once normal urination has returned the patient will need to be checked every three months for the first year after the procedure is done.

If you are looking for information on HIFU or other treatments and topics related to prostate cancer be sure to check out the site.  It has a plethora of information regarding urology and is a great resource.  New procedures are constantly being developed, like HIFU, so Urology Web is the place to research to find it out.  There is even information there or drug and insurance assistance on the site.  Researching options?  Check out Urology Web for the newest techniques on prostrate care and treatment.

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

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