In the world, prostate cancer is among the most common cancers in men. As in other types of cancer, early diagnosis has an important place in the treatment of this disease. In recent years, HIFU, which is a non-surgical form of treatment in prostate cancer cases, is frequently used. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU technology, is considered as a non-surgical, point-targeted treatment in prostate cancer.

What is HIFU?

Treatments such as surgery and radiotherapy are used in prostate cancer. However, these treatment methods can have many side effects. As a result, High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU method with its short name, was developed. However, in the first HIFU applications, the entire prostate was burned. This produced various side effects. The current version of HIFU technology, which is applied at Erdem Hospital and is referred to as focal treatment, ensures that only the diseased area of the prostate is treated. At the same time, it can prevent damage to surrounding tissues and eliminate risks such as urinary incontinence or sexual dysfunction.

What is the prostate and how common is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled proliferation of prostate gland cells, which are part of the male reproductive system. As a result, malignant tumoral formations emerge. However, prostate cancer is a disease that is common all over the world. 1 out of every 5 men has this disease. It is especially common in men over 55 years of age.

Who can be treated with high-intensity focused ultrasound?

HIFU is a treatment approved by the FDA for the destruction of prostate tissue. It is not yet known who the best candidates for HIFU are. But the eligible candidates reported by urologists are:

  • It can be applied as an alternative treatment option in patients have early-stage prostate cancer.
  • It can be applied for tumors that are small and limited to one area of the prostate.
  • HIFU can be applied as an alternative treatment to radiation or surgery or other unsuccessful treatments.

What are the advantages of HIFU?

The advantages of this treatment are:

  • It does not require surgical incision into the body.
  • Radiation is not used.It leaves untargeted healthy tissue unharmed.
  • It can precisely target diseased tissue.
  • It is an outpatient procedure with a short recovery time. 
  • You can usually return to your normal life within 24 hours.
  • Reduces the risk of urinary incontinence compared to surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Is HIFU safe for patients?

This treatment is used in about 50 countries, including the United States. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this. This treatment has been practiced in more than 65,000 men all over the world with this work. It is known to treat prostate cancer at a high rate.

What happens during the HIFU procedure?

During the procedure, your doctor inserts an ultrasound probe the size of your index finger into your rectum while you sleep under anesthesia. It then positions the probe down to the level of your prostate. Your prostate is located just behind the wall of the rectum.

An imaging transducer in the middle of the probe scans your entire prostate. It also creates a three-dimensional computerized map of the area to be treated. Your urologist will then display your exact treatment plan. It uses the computer for this. It is then ensured that the focused ultrasound waves destroy the precisely defined tissue. These rays of focused energy destroy one tissue at a time. Treatment continues until all diseased tissue is destroyed. After the treatment session, your doctor makes a final check with imaging techniques.

The duration of this process is about two hours. However, this period may vary according to the size of the region where the procedure will be performed.

Side effects

This process is often associated with fewer side effects than radiation or chemotherapy. But it is not exempt from potential side effects. Possible risks of side effects include:

  • Erectile dysfunction,
  • Ejaculation problems,
  • Sexual impotence.
  • Rectal incontinence, burning and bleeding from the probe.
  • Prostate infection.
  • Return of prostate cancer,
  • Urinary tract infections,
  • Cloudy Urine,
  • Incontinence, frequency, burning sensation, urinary retention.
  • Rectal wall injury.

Contact us for detailed information about treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the success rate of HIFU for prostate cancer?

The overall success rate of HIFU is known as 84%. The overall success rates are: 94.2% in the low risk group, 80.4% in the medium risk group and 0% in the high risk group.

Does prostate cancer return after HIFU?

After HIFU, your PSA level should decrease. This level should remain low. However, if there is a continuous increase in your PSA levels, this is a bad sign. This can be a sign that the cancer is coming back. If you experience such a condition, your doctor will perform tests such as an MRI scan and a biopsy.

Is HIFU better than prostatectomy?

Data confirm that this treatment is not a safe option for pathologists with high-risk prostate cancer. Whole-gland high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy is known to be less effective than radical prostatectomy in controlling prostate cancer (PCa), with the exception of men with low-risk disease.