HIFU prostate cancer treatment

HIFU: Exciting New Therapy for Prostate Cancer

June is Men’s Health Month and Prostate Cancer is the #1 most common cancer in men and the second cancer-causing death among men. In fact, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed and there have already been 181,000 new cases this year. Until now, patients had very limited treatment options: chemotherapy/radiation or radical prostatectomy, both of which leave behind horrible often life-altering side effects such as incontinence and impotence.

In October of last year, the FDA approved a new minimally invasive therapy: HIFU, or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. This ground-breaking therapy yields maximum efficiency with reduced recovery time and fewer side effects.

When a patient asks me why he should go with HIFU, I start by telling him that the way we treat his cancer is not necessarily going to cure it any better. No published studies have produced a head-to-head comparison of any treatments, so we don’t know whether one route is going to have a better cure rate over any other.

The largest study to date on focal HIFU has just been presented, and the results are exciting. The study showed that if you follow HIFU patients for more than five years, their overall survival is 97 percent, which is no different than traditional treatments (such as radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy). In addition to excellent long-term survival, it is metastasis-free survival at 97 percent. Patients were able to preserve their quality of life and largely avoided the most common side effects of traditional treatments; incontinence was very rare and the vast majority didn’t have erectile dysfunction.

HIFU gives a patient the best chance of getting rid of his cancer and at the same time provides him with an unchanged quality of life.

Because we have the ability to properly identify where the tumor is and can avoid critical structures in a precise manner, we have a very low side-effect profile, which means that men can maintain their quality of life. What other pathway or treatment can do that?

To show patients exactly what I mean, during a consultation, I put their MRI up and shows them where the tumor is, and how HIFU can treat the exact spot, rather than destroy or take out the whole prostate. I show them nerve bundles and structures. This is the only treatment where I can treat the exact spot.

When asking whether or not you should choose HIFU, if quality of life is driving your decision, then you’re going to be highly interested.

Stephen Scionti, M.D.

View posts by Stephen Scionti, M.D.
Over the past 10 years, Dr. Stephen Scionti has developed the largest and most experienced practice for prostate cancer treatment using minimally-invasive thermal ablation technologies such as HIFU, Cryoablation and Prostate Laser Ablation. He has achieved global recognition for his experience, skill and groundbreaking clinical contributions in the field of MRI image-guided prostate cancer ablation with HIFU. He is also an internationally recognized authority in innovative prostate cancer diagnostics. To learn more about Vituro Health and comprehensive prostate care, visit www.viturohealth.com.
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