In recent decades, new technologies have been developed to treat prostate cancer beyond the traditional prostatectomy. Among them is a procedure known as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).
HIFU is a minimally invasive technique approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) only for the removal of diseased prostate tissue. It is intended for men with prostate cancer that hasn’t responded to conventional radiation treatment.
Here’s how HIFU works: Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging, the surgeon directs sound waves through the wall of the rectum at the cancerous prostate cells. These sound waves heat up to temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit, thus destroying cancer cells. Or so proponents of HIFU say.
Does HIFU Work for Prostate Treatment?
The technique is still undergoing clinical trials to determine how well it works. The full extent of its side effects are also being studied, which can include:
- Pain between the testicles and rectum
- Temporary impotence
- Difficulty urinating or leaking urine
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Infection in the testicles
What’s more, the HIFU procedure is not a particularly pleasant experience. For one thing, it can take up to four hours. Also, before it starts, the patient must fast for six hours and must receive an enema to flush out the bowels.
An anesthesia is administered to dull any pain during the procedure and a catheter is threaded through the head of the penis and into the bladder to capture urine.
Although the patient can go home after the procedure is completed and the anesthesia wears off, the doctor may leave the catheter in for up to a week. An appointment will be needed to remove it.
Is CyberKnife a Good Treatment for Prostate Cancer?
If you’re wondering if there’s a better way to treat prostate cancer than HIFU, you’ll be glad to know there is. The CyberKnife® system is an FDA-cleared, noninvasive form of radiotherapy that has been used successfully to treat conditions throughout the body, including the prostate.
Despite its name, CyberKnife doesn’t involve any surgical incisions, so the procedure is generally pain-free. Also, patients who undergo CyberKnife radio-surgery to treat prostate cancer are at no increased risk for erectile dysfunction.
Plus, unlike both HIFU and conventional radiation treatment, CyberKnife has few, if any, side effects. It is one of the safest cancer treatment options currently available.
How Does CyberKnife Work?
The CyberKnife System, also referred to as the Beam of Life, uses precisely targeted energy beams to destroy cancerous and noncancerous tumors. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, CyberKnife does not affect surrounding organs and healthy tissues, only the tumor.
Its robotic design and image-guidance technique enables clinicians to focus on the best locations and angles for the concentrated radiation as it enters and exits the body. This maximizes the dosage concentrated on the target while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue.
CyberKnife is so precise that it accounts for your body’s regular, uncontrollable movements, such as breathing and adjusts to it accordingly. As a result, you can relax comfortably during the procedure, which only lasts 30-60 minutes.
Treatment is completed in just one to five sessions, as opposed to 42 treatments over several months as required with conventional radiation therapy. Also, there is no recovery time required with CyberKnife, so you can immediately resume your normal activities once the session is over.
Prostate Cancer Treatment in Miami
CyberKnife cancer treatment offers many benefits that other prostate cancer treatments, such as HIFU, do not.
To learn more about this groundbreaking treatment for prostate cancer, contact the CyberKnife Center of Miami at (305) 279-2900 to arrange a consultation, or fill out our convenient online to schedule a visit. We look forward to seeing you. In the meantime visit our special prostate cancer website