In the past, if a man was diagnosed with significant prostate cancer, he would have his entire prostate removed surgically or radiated. However, for most men, over-treating the entire prostate is not necessary anymore. Because of advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI fusion technologies, we are now able to accurately identify the extent and location of prostate cancers for most men. Now that we can reliably locate the tumor, we no longer have to over-treat the entire prostate gland. Instead, we can use HIFU to destroy only the cancerous area and preserve the normal prostate tissue.
Why is this important? By preserving the normal prostatic tissue and surrounding structures, men undergoing focal HIFU therapy have better preservation of their erections, better preservation of their sexual function and better preservation of their urinary control, than men undergoing treatment of the entire prostate.
Years ago, women who were diagnosed with breast cancer underwent surgical removal of their entire breast. With improved localization of tumors, most women no longer have their entire breast removed. Instead, they undergo a “lumpectomy,” where only the lump of breast cancer is removed and the normal breast tissue is preserved.
What is Focal HIFU Therapy?
Focal HIFU therapy is very much akin to women undergoing just a “lumpectomy” and not total removal of the breast. Similarly, men undergoing HIFU therapy only have the cancerous tissue removed and their normal prostatic tissue is preserved. For this reason, focal HIFU therapy is sometimes also called the “male lumpectomy.”
HIFU focal therapy is changing the way most men are treated today.
HIFU focal therapy now allows men to be cured of their prostate cancer while preserving their normal urinary and sexual function. With focal HIFU therapy, most men are able to preserve their urinary control, most men are able to preserve their erections, and unlike surgery or radiation, many men with HIFU focal therapy are able to preserve their ejaculation (maintain the emission of fluid when they orgasm). All of these advantages, lead to an improved quality of life for men undergoing HIFU focal therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I know if I am a candidate for HIFU focal therapy?
A. Accurate identification and localization of the cancer is key. For this reason, we use MRI imaging of the prostate and we use prostate mapping techniques when we do our prostate biopsies. With these techniques, we can accurately identify the extent and location of the prostate cancer. Once we have localized the cancer, it’s easy to treat it with HIFU.
Q. What if I have had my prostate biopsy done elsewhere?
A. In these situations, we check your biopsy results to make sure the diagnosis is accurate. Then we look at your prostate imaging (MRI and ultrasound images) to make sure they are to our standards. We then review the biopsy techniques that were used to make sure they were thorough enough and to our standards. If the imaging and biopsy techniques were adequate, then you can be scheduled for HIFU focal therapy. If the biopsy and imaging techniques are not satisfactory, we will let you know what else is needed so that we can have accurate information on the type, extent, and location of your prostate cancer. Knowing the location and extent of the cancer is KEY for HIFU focal therapy.
Q. What is the outcome of HIFU Focal Therapy vs. Surgery or Radiation Therapy?
Q. What are the quality of life outcomes with HIFU Focal Therapy?
To learn more about prostate cancer treatment, visit Medicinenet.com.
Get in Touch with an HIFU Specialist in LA
To find out if HIFU focal therapy is right for you, contact us at 310.341.2557.
Next, read HIFU Vs. Active Surveillance