Prostate cancer is the number one cancer affecting men in North America today. The number of men diagnosed with the disease continues to increase, but the good news is that there are also better treatment options and higher rates of cure than ever before. Better screening and tests has led to earlier diagnosis, usually before prostate cancer becomes clinically evident. Early stages (T-1 and T-2) have a very good prognosis for cure through several treatment options. The traditional options of radical prostatectomy and radiation may not be the best choices, especially for younger men 50-75, as side effects can include impotency and incontinence. There are alternative forms of treatment available that are non-invasive with similar cure rates. One of those treatments is HIFU, or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound.
For patients with organ confined prostate cancer, especially early stages of prostate cancer, HIFU is a treatment procedure that should be considered over the traditional treatment methods of surgery or radiation. HIFU is non-invasive, there are fewer side effects, and recovery is faster as it is a single treatment. Post HIFU outcomes remain very positive – comparable to radiation and surgery.
HIFU was approved for use in Canada in 2003. Maple Leaf HIFU was the first HIFU clinic in North America, opening in May 2005. The clinic has treated more men with prostate cancer than any other HIFU clinic in North America. Maple Leaf HIFU has treated over 700 patients in their downtown Toronto clinic. Maple Leaf HIFU is staffed with top urologists and registered nurses specially trained in the high intensity focused ultrasound procedure.
The medical director of the clinic is Dr. William Orovan, a urologist with almost 30 years experience. He explains how he got involved with HIFU, “I have felt for some time that we need to look for treatment options for prostate cancer that are less invasive, with high expectation of cure – but minimal side effects. Ablative technologies, like Ablatherm HIFU, carry small risks of damage to collateral tissue. Unlike radiation, there is no risk of significant damage to the bladder or rectum over the short or long term.”
HIFU has not yet been approved in the USA, but has been around in Europe much longer than North America. Worldwide, over 30,000 men have been treated with HIFU. Extensive clinical studies and published research on Ablatherm HIFU from the past decade show that the outcomes and results are similar to radical prostatectomy and radiation for destroying the cancer. HIFU is a preferred treatment since damage to surrounding nerves and organs is minimal, resulting in fewer side effects and complications. There is also less down time and quality of life is preserved.
Maple Leaf HIFU is located inside the Cleveland Clinic Canada – a world renown hospital, care, research and training center. The Maple Leaf HIFU clinic is the only clinic in North America with the Ablatherm device to perform HIFU. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, learn about HIFU prostate cancer and other treatment options. Then discuss them with your doctor and family to find the best treatment for your age, lifestyle, cancer stage and other factors.