December 15, 2016
Hearing the statement, “You’ve got cancer,” is terrifying enough on it’s own, but when you factor in the taxing process of selecting a cancer treatment method that is right for you, fears often escalate even further. Fortunately, nowadays, there are advanced treatment options available for you and your loved ones to consider that do not yield the harsh side effects of traditional treatments and will allow one to maintain their quality of life.
Urology Health Solutions offers several state-of-the-art, minimally invasive prostate cancer treatments, including:
• High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
High intensity focused ultrasound therapy (HIFU) is an extremely effective method used to ablate cancerous prostate tissue. Dr. Lotenfoe specializes in this sophisticated procedure, which is radiation-free and bids a shorter recovery time for those seeking to eliminate their cancer in a more non-intrusive manner.
As with anything regarding your health, it’s crucial that you weigh the risks and benefits for each of your options. Factors such as age, overall health, and the stage and grade of your cancer can ultimately impact which treatment methods are viable for you.
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among US men: a statistic that has resulted in an escalated number of people pursuing non-invasive treatment options. For those looking for an alternative to popular and traditional methods such as surgery or radiation, we highly recommend considering HIFU therapy. HIFU therapy is FDA approved and eradicates prostate cancer by targeting and removing the prostatic tumors while preserving the important structures and tissues around the organ.
Since this type of treatment relies on sound waves rather than radiation, side effects and recovery time are typically reduced. Albeit it’s a relatively new process being used to combat prostate cancer, HIFU is by no means a “new” technology. In fact, this type of technology has been applied to treat liver, kidney, breast, bone and pancreatic cancers for decades, and HIFU has been used to treat prostate cancer in other parts of the world for more than 15 years.
HIFU has become our preferred treatment method in recent years. In addition to the non-invasive nature of the procedure, it has proven to be highly effective in treating prostate cancer. Recent studies have shown that more than 90 percent of men who had been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer and treated with HIFU had eliminated all cancerous growths. At the same time preservation of sexual function was accomplished in more than 80% of patients treated, and close to 100% in patients who were treated with focal ablation. Loss of urinary control happened in less than 2% of men treated, and was virtually non-existent in men treated with focal ablation.
An alternative option for those in search of a safe and efficient prostate cancer treatment is cryotherapy, or the use of sub-zero temperatures to freeze and kill prostate cancer cells. The entire process lasts anywhere between one to two hours and causes minimal pain and discomfort after the procedure is completed. Since this is an outpatient procedure, patients are mobile the same day and can fully return to their normal routines within a couple of days.
Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy rays to eradicate cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy that can be used on a patient with prostate cancer: internal and external. We encourage those with low-grade cancers to seek alternative options, such as HIFU or cryotherapy, but if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland and into nearby tissues, this may be the best option for you.
One of the biggest downfalls to this type of treatment are side effects. Short-term side effects include skin reactions, urinary frequency-urgency, and urinary- and bowel incontinence, erectile dysfunction, blood in urine, and the loss of hair. Side effects may occur during the treatment, but also months and years after the treatment has been completed. Long-term side effects like darkening of the skin, increased or decreased skin sensitivity, and enlarged pores can last up to a year or longer.
The majority of patients are able to tolerate treatment, even with some side effects, but it’s important to keep these in mind when choosing which method of care is right for you.
Always consult your doctor.
While ample facts and data regarding treatment options can be found online, it’s always best to consult with your urologist before making any hasty decisions. In order to diagnose prostate cancer, a comprehensive biopsy of the affected area will need to be completed. Once this has been performed, your urologist will help evaluate your choices and create an individualized treatment plan to suit your needs.
Finding out that you have cancer is scary, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Call us today at (407) 566-1105 to consult with a Board Certified urological surgeon who you can trust.
We also offer Nitrous Oxide as a means of ease and care for our patients during your procedure.