Using HIFU for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate Cancer is a form of cancer that usually starts in the cells of a man’s prostate gland, where a tumor develops. The prostate gland is responsible for producing the liquid portion of semen.  If not caught soon enough, the cancer spreads outside the prostate gland to the lymph nodes, bones, or other areas. This spread is referred to as metastatic prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Several symptoms of prostate cancer may present themselves. Some common symptoms include frequent urination (especially at night), weak or interrupted urinary stream, urine leakage when laughing or coughing, a painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation, blood in urine (Hematuria), blood in semen (Hematospermia),loss of weight or appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, swelling of lower extremities, and weakness of paralysis in the lower limbs. There are several treatment options for prostate cancer. Your doctor will guide you through the process of choosing the right treatment for you based on the severity of your cancer.

Robotic Surgery For Prostate Cancer in NJ

Robotic Surgery is a common treatment route. It is a type of minimally invasive computer assisted surgery in which very small tools are attached to a robotic arm controlled by the surgeon. Robotic surgery is often preferred among patients because it is minimally invasive resulting in quicker recovery, minimal scarring, clinically superior results, a reduced risk of complications, and minimal blood loss. Side effects and risks include higher complications, involuntary leaking of urine or fecal matter (Incontinence), sexual dysfunction, and transfusion risks.

New Jersey Brachytherapy Treatment

Another treatment option is Radioactive Seed Implantation, also known as “Brachytherapy”. This is a form of radiation therapy for prostate cancer which refers to the placement of radioactive material into tissue. There are two types of Brachytherapy, permanent and temporary.

Permanent Brachytherapy

Permanent (Low Dose Rate) Brachytherapy is when a doctor or clinician implants radioactive (iodine-125 and palladium-103) seeds into the prostate gland using an ultrasound for guidance. The number of seeds and where they are placed is determined by a computer-generated treatment plan tailored for each patient. Anywhere from 40 to 100 seeds are implanted. The implants remain in place permanently, and become biologically inert after a period of months. This technique allows a high dose of radiation to be delivered to the prostate with limited damage to surrounding tissue.

Temporary Brachytherapy in New Jersey

Temporary (High Dose Rate) Brachytherapy is the technique in which hollow needles are placed into the prostate gland and filled with radioactive material (iridium-192) for 5-15 minutes. After the treatment both the iridium and the needles are removed. This is repeated two to three times over next several days. Compared to external radiation, which requires eight to nine weeks of daily treatment, convenience is a major advantage of this therapy.

Side Effects of Bracytherapy

Patients of Brachytherapy report side effects such as the lowest rate of sexual dysfunction (according to American Cancer Society). Other advantages are a usually painless treatment, quick recovery, and fewer complications. The procedure does not require major surgery, and only requires minimal hospital stays. Side effects reported include difficulty urinating (Dysuria), blood in urine (Hematuria), painful and swollen scrotum (Epididymitis), frequent urination, and inability to achieve or maintain an erection (Erectile Dysfunction).

Cryosurgery For Prostate Cancer in NJ

Cryosurgery is another option for the treatment of prostate cancer. It is a gynecological treatment that uses liquid nitrogen, a very low-temperature liquid, or sometimes argon gas to destroy noncancerous (benign) and some cancerous (malignant) skin lesions in the cervix. An ultra-thin metal probe or needle is inserted into the prostate gland through an incision between the anus and scrotum. Any living tissue, healthy or unhealthy, cannot tolerate the extremely cold temperatures. As heat is drawn out, there is an instantaneous swell of ice crystals which results in the rupture of cell membranes, tissue damage and ultimately cell death. The advantages of this procedure are that it is minimally invasive, requires no radiation, lower rates of incontinence compared to invasive surgery, and minimal hospital stay. This procedure can also be repeated if necessary. Side effects tend to be worse in men who have already had radiation therapy and may include blood in urine and a painful and swollen scrotum.  Freezing damages nerves near the prostate and causes impotence in 4 out of 5 men. Less than 1% of men develop a fistula or abnormal connection between the rectum and bladder.

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Treatment Specialists in NJ

Patients being treated for prostate cancer may also choose High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), a minimally invasive treatment option for localized prostate cancer that may offer a balance between eliminating cancer and maintaining quality of life. During the procedure, precisely focused ultrasound waves raise the temperature of the targeted prostate tissue to 195 degrees Fahrenheit in 2-3 seconds. This rapid heat destroys the targeted tissue while leaving structures outside of the targeted tissue unharmed. Advantages of this treatment are that it is minimally invasive, there is no blood loss, no radiation, it is non-surgical, requires minimal hospital stays, and it can be repeated if necessary. Side effects and risks include difficulty urinating, production of protein in the urine (Proteinuria), urinary tract infection, blood in urine, prostate infection (Prostatitis), painful and swollen scrotum, blood in semen, and the inability to achieve or maintain an erection.