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Prostate Cancer and HIFU

Prostate Cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men and it can be cured without side effects by HIFU. 

 

It Kills 27,00/year and 162,000 new cases occurred in 2017. It is true that there are different grades and stage of this cancer and some men can live with it. This is usually what is referred to as a Gleason grade 3+3=6. However there is controversy about this and a Gleason 6 has been known to spread (metastasize). This clearly is an indication that it has the potential to be aggressive and do great harm to some of those who have it.

 

Here is the problem: when men are diagnosed with a Gleason 7 or higher the treatment that follows is usually radical  prostatectomy  or radiation therapy if the disease is confined to the prostate.

There are  in current times are therapies that are relatively new (have been used in other parts of the world for 15 or more years) and have only recently been introduced into the United States,

 

One of these is HIFU:

Why is the new therapy (to the U.S.) of High Intensity Focused  Ultrasound HIFU an important addition to our treatment options?

 

We have to go back for a moment to understand. Radical Prostatectomy is frequently  associated with significant side effects. What are they? Urinary incontinence ( as High as 30% to 80%) leaking urine , in some cases leaking all the time in other cases when coughing, laughing sneezing or doing any strenuous activity. The other major problem is the robbing men of their sexual function ( this is known as erectile dysfunction or ED) is about 50% to in some peer reviewed literature reports as high as 80%. Yes these conditions can be treated but not cured and many Prostate Cancer patients have these problems for the rest of their lives.

 

Now let’s go back to HIFU. This therapy if applied to men who are diagnosed early can AVOID ALL OF THESE PROBLEN AND PRODUCE CURE!!!.. Many of our readers will remember the United States Preventative Service Task Force. This is the unfortunate effort of the Obama administration to cut the cost of health care.  This commission that had no urologist input, said the PSA  (prostate specific antigen) was a bad test. These unqualified individuals with political and governmental clout imposed this upon the U.S. Male population from 2012-2017. It was based on faulty research and unfortunately sloppy  scientific review. The result prostate cancer went undetected for many men during those 5 five years. Early diagnosis was set back. However the task force has had to retract this position.

 

Now with PSA available again and MRI (which we will discuss in another blog) we can make the early diagnosis of Prostate Cancer.

 

With these diagnostic options available, we can diagnose Prostate Cancer early and treat it with HIFU for cure!!!  Not only that, the treatment is delivered in an ambulatory environment. Further the patient can have a regular dinner the very evening of surgery, he can even go to a restaurant. He can easily maintain himself at home or hotel and can even drive a car a day or two after the treatment and return to work within one week. You guessed it no URINARY INCONTINENCE  and MANHOOD is preserved no ERECTILE DYSFUCTION (ED).

 

Why haven’t you heard about this? A reasonable question. It could be that the existing forms of treatment, the manufactures such as of the Robot and the Institutions who have invested in these  Multi-Million Dollar technologies don’t want you to know about HIFU. The same may be true for  RADIATION institutions who have invested in expensive RADIATION VAULTS. Why you say? Because they have invested multi-millions in these technologies and they have to be used to pay the mortgage of the equipment.

 

HIFU is a young competitor, however it is my opinion that it will become a fierce source of competition.

 

Lastly cost; HIFU cost about 25 thousand dollars. Radical Prostatectomy 160 thousand dollars and two very expensive days in the hospital. Radiation. 20 treatments over 4-6 weeks, again very high cost well over 100K.

 

HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) will change the way we Americans , Men and Women will think of prostate cancer and how it can be treated so as to not affect their families. Interestingly a similar situation happened with Breast cancer in 1973. George Crile of the Cleveland Clinic stopped doing radical mastectomy (breast removal) in most cases of breast cancer and gave rise to the operation of Lumpectomy.

 

You can say, and be correct that HIFU allows us to do a “Lumpectomy” of the prostate and in most cases Radical removal of the prostate is not necessary!

 

As Paul Harvey would say, “NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY”

 

Thanks for taking time to read this.