Prostate Cancer ALTERNATIVE Treatments
Ablatherm® HIFU: Transrectal High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Ablatherm® is a medical device piloted by a computer designed to treat localized prostate cancer using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Under a spinal anesthetic with IV sedation, an ultrasound probe is inserted in the rectum to map the exact outline of the prostate gland.
Using this map, high intensity ultrasound waves are delivered through the rectal wall precisely focused on the prostate. This focusing produces intense heat and causes the destruction of the tissue inside the targeted zone without damaging surrounding tissues. The treatment generally takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Download HIFU Brochure (pdf)
During this treatment 50 - 150 small radioactive seeds are implanted directly into the prostate gland using 20 - 40 needles.
This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia (2 to 3 hours). It is recommended that the patient avoid close contact with children and pregnant women for two months after seed implant. As with EBRT, recurrent disease is not uncommon and is difficult to treat.
Brachytherapy cannot be utilized when a patient has symptoms of prostate obstruction, when he has a Gleason stage above 6, or when he has had a previous transurethral resection of the prostate (TUR-P).
In cryotherapy the prostate is frozen solid.
Ultrasound guidance controls the extent of the freeze.
The procedure is done under anesthesia and requires at least an overnight stay in the hospital.
This technology has improved in recent years but is still associated with a very high incidence of impotence and urinary incontinence. In addition, fistulae (or holes) between the prostate and rectum can occur, especially in patients who have had unsuccessful EBRT.
There are also a large number of patients who undergo cryotherapy after unsuccessful EBRT who experience pelvic and/or rectal pain.
Hormone therapy is a generalized treatment for patients with cancer that extends beyond the prostate.
Hormone therapies cannot kill nor cure prostate cancer. Hormone therapy is used to decrease testosterone and male hormones to slow the growth rate of prostate cancer.
Some hormone therapy drugs work to prevent your body and the cancer cells from using testosterone.
Patients eventually develop resistance to the hormones. Hormone therapy is a temporary solution to extend survival or improve the quality of life of the prostate cancer patient.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Prostate Cancer
- Benefits of HIFU
- HIFU Treatment Steps
- Patient Stories
- Questions to Ask Your Doctor