An Overview of Prostate Cancer and HIFU Treatment

Prostate cancer is known as a silent killer because there are almost no warning symptoms during the first stages. In fact, long before you know that you should be looking, the cancer could be moving beyond the prostate. If you have any reason to believe this cancer could be a factor in your medical condition, don’t wait to take action.By the time you start to notice symptoms, the cancer could have progressed to a point where immediate physician involvement is necessary.After running blood tests and a digital rectal exam to verify the diagnosis, your physician may choose to implement an HIFU prostate cancer treatment method.

Symptoms Indicating Prostate Cancer

There are several symptoms that should prompt quick action. You may begin to notice that it is difficult to pass urine. This may mean that it is difficult to initiate a stream, a slow stream, or a weak stream. This will be particularly true at night. Another symptom is pain during urination or ejaculation. Difficulty getting an ejaculation is a third symptom. Other symptoms include blood in the urine, pain deep within the hips or back, and weakness or numbness in the lower extremities. Any of these symptoms could prompt further investigation, but a combination of symptoms should lead to immediate actions.

Alternative Diagnoses

Many of these symptoms could also point to other medical conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and inflammation of the prostate. Unfortunately, this can sometimes distract people from seeking a correct diagnosis. On the other hand, this could mean that symptoms are pointing toward a lesser condition and not cancer. The best action is to see expert advice as soon as you notice the symptoms. If the diagnosis is positive for cancer, you may be able to get started on your HIFU prostate cancer treatment regimen as soon as possible.

What Is HIFU Treatment?

HIFU treatment is hyperthermia therapy. This is one of a class of therapeutic ultrasound therapies used in the treatment of cancer. HIFU stands for “high intensity focused ultrasound”. The treatment involves the use of sound waves for a non-invasive or minimally-invasive treatment. As high frequency sound waves are targeted toward specific body tissues deep within the body, the tissues heat up and eventually die. This strong beam is administered by an ultrasound probe that specifically targets those organs containing the cancer.

Who Qualifies?

This treatment isn’t appropriate for all types of cancer. You and your physician will determine whether or not you qualify. You may be eligible if your cancer is a low-grade cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland. If you’ve already had prostate cancer before and you’ve been treated by radiotherapy, this treatment method may be appropriate as a “salvage” technique.

Pros and Cons of HIFU Treatment

The advantages of HIFU prostate cancer treatment include its minimally invasive nature and the limited amount of side effects. The duration of the hospital stay is comparatively short. There are a few disadvantages to this treatment method, including the expense and potential scarring of the prostate. Compared to the alternatives, these disadvantages are acceptable to many cancer patients.

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