High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (Prostate)
High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a new type of prostate cancer treatment which uses state-of-the-art acoustic ablation technique. High intensity focused ultrasound therapy involves using a machine that gives off high frequency sound waves. These waves deliver a strong beam to a specific part of a cancer. Some cells die when this high intensity ultrasound beam is focused directly onto them.
HIFU is only useful to treat a single tumour or part of a large tumour. It doesn't treat tumors that are more widespread. This means that HIFU is not suitable for people with cancer that has spread to more than one place in their body. HIFU doesn't pass through either solid bone or air. This means that it is not suitable to treat every type of cancer.
Unlike radiation, HIFU uses clean (also known as non-ionizing) energy, so the procedure can be repeated, if necessary, without damaging healthy tissue.
In most cases, HIFU is a 1-4 hour, one-time procedure performed on an out-patient basis under spinal anesthesia.
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