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The Armor Men’s Health Hour: Prostate Cancer and HIFU

The Armor Men’s Health Hour is brought to you by Urology Specialists of Austin.

For questions during the week, call us at 512-238-0762, or visit our website.


The Armor Men’s Health Hour is a show dedicated to providing information on a variety of medical topics, some of which may include sensitive subject material about penises. All cases discussed have been done with the permission of the people involved—and their penises.

Welcome to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee. We have been so lucky to be able to give you a year’s worth of shows now. The radio show is a wonderful way to connect the community with what we do.

The HIFU Treatment

This has been a big week for us. A big part of what we do in our urology practice is the treatment for prostate cancer. If you’ve been a listener of the show, you may be aware that we do a special kind of treatment. It’s not widely available. It’s called high intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU treatment for prostate cancer.

It’s almost too good to be true. We have patients, I would say about 70 to 80% of our patients that get this treatment for prostate cancer come from outside of Austin. It’s not widely available. It is a one-day procedure that is painless, that uses ultrasound energy to identify where cancer is and to ablate it using this ultrasound energy is like a magnifying glass that focuses the sun’s rays on a point that ultrasound energy can kill the prostate cancer.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and you’re taking some thought on how to treat it and you haven’t been given the option of HIFU, it’s definitely something that is probably our most popular reason for people to get a second opinion. This week in our own literature, it was shown that just treating where the tumor is in your prostate called focal therapy, just treating where it is, had equivalent treatment outcomes to radical prostatectomy—a radical surgery.

I’ve been doing robotic surgery for almost 20 years now. This is not something that is new to me or new to our practice, but the idea that we can provide focal therapy for just where your cancer is and give you lower side effects, equivalent treatment outcomes, much easier decision making is something that makes me really happy.

Nutrition Program For Cancer Patients

We have an amazing nutrition program as well. Robert Mendiola, our nutritionist, will put all of our prostate cancer and virtually all of our cancer patients on what we think is a very cancer specific nutrition program. And if you haven’t been given advice about that from either your oncologist or from your urologist or whoever’s diagnosed your cancer, certainly, we have excellent outcomes, ways to follow and wonderful support when it comes to understanding how do patients with cancer, whether they’re treated or not, benefit from a nutritional program.

If you haven’t been given that advice before, I certainly think that you deserve to get that advice. Most of these services are covered by insurance. So, out of pocket costs are not something that are usually a burden to get this information. Really, the burden is whether or not your medical provider has been able to educate themselves or collect the resources necessary to educate you on this particular topic, and of course, spend the time, which is the most valuable kind of resource on earth.

A New Era In Prostate Cancer Treatment

The company that manufactures the machine used in this treatment is right here in Austin: EDAP Technologies. They have agreed to give us really almost exclusive access to this newest of new technologies, HIFU for prostate cancer. It’s quicker, it’s easier, fewer side effects and bigger prostates can be treated. It is a new era in our prostate cancer treatment program.

Being in private practice and not in the academic arena per se, you don’t necessarily always get your hands on just kind of the latest and greatest before everyone else. And the fact that we’re going to be able to do that now and really help, you know, hundreds of men treat their prostate cancer with fewer side effects and equivalent outcomes is something that is really exciting. And we had a patient who came on, we have a whole podcast of him. The side effects he talks about, well, the lack of side effects is pretty impressive. He said he stayed home for a week afterward and it was fine.

Those men that are concerned about their either avoiding radiation or keeping their erectile function and continence, and if you have localized tumors, and especially if you have a tumor that conveyed identified by MRI, this is spectacular. This is MRI fusion technology that we can use to treat your cancer.

If you have questions for Dr. Mistry, email him at

The transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Listen to the original episode on The Armor Men’s Health Hour podcast.

To make an appointment, call us at 512-238-0762, or visit our website.

The Many Talents Of Your Urologist

Ever wished you had a physician who was dedicated to “Men’s Health”? The ladies get gynecologists for all their issues related to women’s health, why don’t men have something similar? A one-stop-men’s-health-shop, if you will.

You’ve thought about it. Maybe even fantasized about it. You could go annually and have a specialist who’s dedicated to men’s health evaluate your health, recommend preventative care, and even answer your questions in detail. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Well, we have good news for you: that physician exists. And you may already have one.


It’s your urologist. What??

Here are five things your urologist can do that you may not have known about:

General Urology

This one is the obvious one, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. Your urologist will treat and provide preventive care for the things you normally think about going to the urologist for. That’s things like kidney stones, blood in the urine, incontinence, UTIs, and other conditions of that nature. Treatments like these form the backbone of what we do, but it’s really just the beginning.

Treat Prostate Cancer

Your urologist can treat prostate cancer—if that urologist is cool like us. With the HIFU procedure that we employ, we can focus our treatment on only the affected area without incision—and without damaging any of the healthy tissue around the area. This procedure is unique and involves no blades, scars, or radiation.

Reproductive Health

Yes, you read that right. Your urologist can assist you with your reproductive health needs, whether that’s investigating male infertility or signing you up for a ticket to vasectomy city. Whether you can’t wait to bring home another little one, or have as many munchkins around the house as you can handle, we pride ourselves on being able to meet your reproductive health needs, whatever they may be.

Combat Low T

Many men struggle with low testosterone (Low T), sexual dysfunction, weight gain, or other symptoms associated with low T or erectile dysfunction. Guess what? Your urologist can help with that too. Hormonal balance is essential to your comprehensive health, so we treat all aspects of your wellness that may contribute to erectile dysfunction or low T.

Encourage Healthy Living

At the end of the day, healthcare should be about ensuring that you can get healthy and stay that way. And your urologist is should be part of that equation. We can provide you with a health coach who will work with you to create healthy habits like changing your diet, working out regularly, and managing stress, so that you can continue to be your best self. Who would have thought your urologist could do that?

Ready to treat yourself to comprehensive men’s healthcare? Schedule a visit with your local urologist, North Austin Urology, today!

Your HIFU Questions, Answered


For many men, even the mention of the potential side effects of many traditional prostate cancer treatments can cause some serious cringe. Erectile dysfunction? Urinary incontinence? Extended recovery time? No, thanks very much. And the cost of some of these procedures can be prohibitive, even if you’re prepared to face the possibility of side effects and significant time out of your life.

But if you’re seeking treatment for prostate cancer, don’t panic. You’ve got options, and they aren’t just radiation, cryotherapy, or hormone treatments. There’s another option out there that’s quick, non-invasive, highly effective, and has few documented side effects.

It’s HIFU: High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound.

Here’s what you need to know about prostate cancer’s new worst enemy:

What Is HIFU?

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a new high-tech procedure that’s non-invasive and an effective option for prostate cancer treatment. This treatment involves state-of-the-art technology, is FDA-approved, and does not require a single incision. It’s a process designed to preserve healthy tissue and eliminate problem tissue without damaging any structures or cells beyond the directly targeted area.

How Does It Work?

When we use HIFU, we skip all the radiation, incisions, and sharp cutting implements. Instead, we use a device called The Ablatherm®, which uses a high intensity focused ultrasound to target only the necessary parts of the prostate, leaving the rest untouched and free of side effects. The high-intensity sound waves burn the targeted tissue and cut off blood supply to the dangerous cells, killing them without harming any of the good cells. This process can be repeated multiple times if necessary until the treatment is complete.

Is It Safe?

This procedure has fewer side effects than most other treatments, and is minimally invasive, making it significantly safer than many other traditional methods for treating prostate cancer. Through HIFU’s focused strategy for targeting and treating prostate conditions, many major risks are avoided, and the process kept as safe as possible. Follow-up visits will include testing to ensure the process was successful and to monitor your condition to ensure proper recovery.

If you’re considering HIFU, be sure to consult your doctor to ensure the process is right for you and your body’s needs. For more information about our non-invasive robotic HIFU, check out this informative video.

Ready to preserve your quality of life with low risk of side effects?

Contact us about HIFU today.

Dr. Christopher Yang Talks Prostate Cancer on The Bro Show Pt. 1

Dr. Chris Yang of NAU Urology Specialists was recently a guest on the Bro Show. He joined The Daniels Brothers to discuss prostate cancer. Addressing the greatly misunderstood role of androgen deprivation therapy via chemical or surgical castration de-mystified by Dr. Yang.

One of the things that they quickly discovered is that Dr. Yang has a five-star rating on Yelp with glowing reviews. Taking us from his beginnings in software, they walk us through when he decided to tackle his medical degree. Dr. Yang did specialty training in sexual dysfunction. Read on for an overview of their discussion below or click here to listen to the podcast.

Let’s talk prostate cancer

The discussion is about prostate cancer. About 2.9 million men have prostate cancer, every year, about 160,000 men find out they have the disease. It is one of the most successfully treated cancers, due to early detection. With any of the cancers discussed, the issues can lie in the side effects of the treatment.

What inspired you to pursue urology as opposed to other medicine?

I knew I wanted to do something surgical and there were a couple of urologists in Galveston who were excited about the field and they got me excited about the field. Plus, urologists have the best jokes out of all physicians. With what we deal with, you have to have a decent sense of humor.

What percentage of your practice is prostate cancer-related? 

Probably about five to ten percent.

What comprises the remainder of the issues for the patients you see?

The remainder are other urologic cancers; kidney, bladder, testicular. Kidney stones and other surgical problems with the kidneys. Men’s health, fertility health and other issues such as scrotal pain.

As physicians, we get focused on our system. When I have patients that come in who have pain on their side with a kidney stone, that is what I know best.

For the layman, what is prostate cancer? 

You first have to answer what a prostate is. The prostate is an organ that sits below your bladder of men. It’s an organ of reproduction, so it makes some of the seminal fluid. Your urethra runs through the prostate. The prostate is a gland that men have that makes fluid. Prostate cancer is abnormal growth of glands. There are very rare types of prostate cancer that comes from the connective tissue, or the muscle in the prostate. Cancer is abnormal cell growth. Cells that should die aren’t and they grow and spread.

Are they tumors? 

Yeah, exactly. Cancers are tumors, but not all tumors are cancers. If you have a benign tumor, that’s not cancer.

With other cancers, people talk about stages. Is that the case for prostate cancer? 

Yes, it is. Stage 1 & 2 cancers mean that the cancer is just inside of the prostate. Stage 2 is more aggressive than Stage 1. Stage 3 means that cancer has spread beyond the prostate, but locally. It’s invaded the boundary of the prostate, the bladder or other nearby organs. Stage 4 means it’s metastatic, meaning it has spread somewhere distant to the prostate like the bones or the lungs.

So, if I have a tumor in the lymph system near my prostate, would that be Stage 3 cancer?

That would still be Stage 4.

In terms of success rate, this is distinct from other cancers, but how else is it different from other cancers? 

The thing that distinguishes it, and the main thing that we can test for is PSA. PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It’s a protein that’s made by prostate cancer cells and normal prostate cells. It’s a protein in your bloodstream at all times. If it’s high, it’s suspicious.

Prostate cancer is a slower developing cancer, which can vary treatment based on the age of the cancer patient. Can you talk about that?

You’re right. The majority of prostate cancers are Stage 1 and Stage 2 and those are very slow growing. Meaning, it probably wouldn’t cause a problem in 10 years. Stage 3 and Stage 4 cancers do have the ability to cause other health problems fairly quickly.  Right now there’s no easy way to distinguish between those two.

A very high PSA wouldn’t guarantee that I was Stage 3 or 4? 

Not necessarily. It would be more likely that you would have Stage 3 or 4.

When you’re a guy over 50 you start hearing about PSA numbers. What’s the scale and how is the number so widely varied? 

What is considered the normal range is <4 nanograms per liter in the blood. But there’s a pretty big variation as far as what’s normal. For men who have BPH, which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, which all men get as we get older, that normal range increases. Just because your PSA is 5 or 6, doesn’t mean you have prostate cancer, but we might get a little suspicious.

My urologist said my prostate size was age-appropriate.

What that means is that when you’re younger your prostate is about 20 or 30 grams, like a walnut. As you get older, with 60 year old, I would expect a prostate to be maybe 40 to 50 grams. It can get much larger, some people can get up to 100 gram or 200 gram with a softball or baseball sized prostate. You don’t really feel the size of the prostate, but it will start to restrict the flow of urine. You can’t feel it externally, but can with a prostate exam. We still only get about half the prostate.

This is a 2-part series to be continued. Check back for the next installment in March or click here to listen to the full podcast now.