Why has my doctor not told me about the procedure?
Simply put, most U.S. physicians have not been trained to perform HiFU and are unlikely to have access to a machine.
Also, many Urologists and institutions have invested millions of dollars into radiation machines that are a direct alternative to HiFU treatment. They may be hesitant to advise a treatment that would devalue those investments. With prostate cancer, as much as any other similar diagnosis, you will most likely be offered the treatments that your doctor feels comfortable providing and getting additional opinions is critical.
Prostate Cancer is not a simple or single disease. Although over 300,000 men are diagnosed with the disease, only about 10% will does from the disease and there is a real concern that men are being overtreated. So, if your doctor thinks that you would not fare well with complications or that you are too old or sick to benefit from treatment you may not be steered towards treating your prostate cancer.
Meet the HIFU team
HiFU vs. Active Surveillance
Why would I choose HiFU over Active Surveillance (Watchful Waiting), Robotic Prostate Cancer Removal, or Radiation (either external bean, Cyberknife, or radiation seeds)?
Watchful Waiting or Active Surveillance is an excellent choice for patients with small volume prostate cancer or those with poor health or those wanting to avoid all sexual and urinary side effects of treatment. Unfortunately, this treatment strategy involves, repeat biopsies, regular lab draws and doctor visits and the anxiety shared between you and your loved ones.
Carefully weigh and balance the risks.
We will generally advise our patients who have Prostate Cancer localized to the prostate who are interested in treatment to carefully weigh the risks of each choice and balance the risks with the expected cure rate. Men who have aggressive cancer and a long life expectancy will generally be advised to have a radical robotic prostate removal. However, many men, even with advanced cancer, would rather proceed with HiFU to preserve sexual and urinary function even though additional treatment may be required in the future.
Many of our patients are advised against radiation for several reasons:
- Most patients deemed appropriate for radiation are excellent HiFU candidates.
- The side effects of radiation, including developing other cancers, may not be seen for many years.
- HiFU can be done in several hours in one visit.
- HiFU can be used to treat only the part of the prostate affected by cancer.
- Surgical removal of the prostate remains a possibility after HiFU.
- Radiation can be kept as a treatment for salvage if the cancer return.
The HIFU prostate tissue ablation procedure is designed to preserve quality of life
Prostate care treatments can alter patients’ quality of life in terms of pelvic comfort, urinary continence, and erectile dysfunction. Today’s treatment options are not only about curing or prolonging life: they also aim at reducing the comorbidities of the disease and the side effects of treatments, to fight against possible sequelae. HIFU treatment is also a perfect alternative to active monitoring and radical treatment by surgery or radiotherapy. Being effective in a minimally invasive manner, it preserves the quality of life of patients by removing the psychological stress that active surveillance can represent for the patient.