A cancer diagnosis is always upsetting and frightening, and prostate cancer is no exception. However, you'll be glad to know that 90% of prostate cancer is caught during the early local and regional stages of the disease, and patients whose prostate cancer is diagnosed in those stages have close to a 100% cure rate. That means that with the right treatment, you have a great chance of survival. And there are many possible treatments for you to choose from. Take a look at the pros and cons of a new treatment option: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU.
Just What is HIFU?
HIFU involves sending high-frequency sound waves into the prostate. The waves are targeted at the cancer cells so as not to destroy healthy prostate tissue. Your doctor will use guided-image technology to ensure that only the cancerous areas are targeted. The ultrasonic waves cause the targeted tissue to rapidly heat up, and the heat destroys the cancerous cells.
Why Choose HIFU Over Other Procedures?
HIFU has several benefits that other treatments do not. Unlike surgery, HIFU is non-invasive. And because it's a targeted procedure, you won't unnecessarily lose prostate tissue that's still healthy. And unlike chemo and radiation, HIFU doesn't make you sick. Actually, the procedure has very few side effects at all.
You can also look forward to a speedier recovery when you choose HIFU. The procedure is usually an outpatient procedure that is performed when the patient is under a local anesthetic. You'll be able to return home the same day and resume your normal diet.
What's The Downside?
In the United States, the biggest downside to HIFU treatment is that it's not yet FDA approved, despite the fact that it's been in use for some time in Canada and Europe. The treatment is, however, in clinical trials, which means that you still may be able to get the treatment if you participate in a clinical trial.
You should also know that HIFU is most effective if used when the patient is in the earliest stages of the disease and considered low to intermediate risk. If your cancer has spread to more advanced stages, then you will need more aggressive treatments. In some cases, your doctor may recommend using HIFU in conjunction with another type of treatment.
You owe it to yourself to check out all possible cancer treatments so that you can find the one that best suits your needs. Ask your doctor to help you determine whether or not HIFU is an option for you. Visit http://internationalhifu.com for more information.
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