(PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 05, 2017 -- Faced with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, patients must often choose between two basic healthcare options: either engage in active surveillance (“watchful waiting”) to monitor the typically slow-growing disease, or sign up for radical surgery to remove the whole prostate and potentially suffer life-changing side effects like urinary incontinence and impotence.
But as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month kicks off in September, Dipen Parekh, M.D., chairman and professor of the Department of Urology at the University of Miami, is urging men in the U.S. to get screened―and learn about a different option: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). For men with localized prostate cancer, HIFU significantly decreases the side effects of incontinence and impotence that have become synonymous with prostate cancer treatment.
“HIFU offers a happy medium between patients on active surveillance and patients receiving radical surgical treatments or radiation in appropriately selected patients,” said Dr. Parekh, who has been among the trailblazers performing treatments with the Ablatherm® Robotic HIFU device. “Ablatherm HIFU can target and remove the exact site of the cancer and spare the organ which helps preserve quality of life for many men. With HIFU, patients can experience diminished side effects and fewer complications as well as less time away from work and leisure activities.”
HIFU directs high-frequency sound waves to destroy the area of the prostate affected with cancer, targeting diseased tissue that may be as small as two tiny grains of rice. This minimally invasive and radiation-free technology has been used in more than 45,000 men around the world with encouraging results in terms of both survival rates and quality of life.
A multicenter study conducted by the French Association of Urology (AFU) showed optimal preservation of continence with HIFU for 97 percent of patients and erectile function for more than 78 percent of them.
In 2015, the FDA cleared Ablatherm HIFU for “prostate tissue ablation,” meaning the technology can be employed to destroy prostate tissue. To date there are about 50 urologists like Dr. Parekh ― and others in major medical centers around the country ― now actively using Ablatherm HIFU to treat localized prostate cancer, that is, cancer that has spread in but not beyond the capsule of the prostate gland and which has not reached other parts of the body. According to The Urology Care Foundation, more than 90 percent of men who are told they have prostate cancer have localized disease.