What Is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound?
A confirmation of prostate cancer can be a scary time in a man’s life, and one out of every seven men will receive this diagnosis during his lifetime. The good news is that the prognosis is great with early detection, which is why it’s important to get regular screenings once you reach the appropriate age recommended by doctors, and earlier if you have risk factors like a family history. Once you receive this disturbing news, you have a few options about potential courses of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) treatments offered by many urologists in Miami and other major cities.
How It Works
This technology works similarly to the way you can start a fire with sunlight and a magnifying glass, only it uses sound waves instead of light. Multiple ultrasound emissions are focused through a sonic lens to direct their combined intensity onto a cancerous tumor, which eventually kills the growth. Doctors will typically use MRI and other real-time imaging technology to guide the beam and monitor its effectiveness. The entire outpatient procedure can take anywhere from 1-4 hours.
Benefits of This Treatment
While there are many advantages to this therapeutic option, the biggest benefit is its noninvasive nature. Unlike surgical treatments that require significant recovery and healing times, you can be up and about as soon as the session ends. There’s also much less risk to surrounding healthy tissue, and your time with a catheter is significantly diminished. Since urologists in Miami and other communities perform this work in a sensitive area of the body, you’ll be glad to know that there are markedly lower risks of urinary and sexual dysfunction.
Since so many advantages come with this therapy, it’s understandable that many patients might head to centers for urology in Miami or other areas, but not everyone will benefit from this procedure. While there can be positive results for most prostate cancer cases with this technique, it’s most effective in men who have less-aggressive and lower-stage cancers. Previous surgeries that prevent insertion of the probe can also disqualify a patient from this option.
Potential Side Effects
Like any medical procedure, this treatment does come with potential complications, which is why it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons with your physician. Since there will be a period of catheterization following the session, there’s a risk of urinary tract infection and other related conditions. You’ll also experience some localized swelling due to the process. While there is still a potential for incontinence and erectile dysfunction as a result of this therapy, advances in this technology diminish the risks
Talk to Your Doctor About This Option
Now that you know more about HIFU treatment for prostate cancer, your next step should be a consultation with one of the many experienced urologists in Miami or any other large city. You’ve already done your part by getting screened in time for early detection. Now it’s up to your physician to determine a course of action that will set you up for long-term management of this treatable condition.
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