About: HIFU

High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) uses high-frequency energy beams to heat and destroy cancer cells in the prostate. 
Being somewhat new and requiring special skills and equipment, much is still being learned about how well it works and any side effects.

HIFU has not been approved for general use in Canada to treat prostate cancer. It’s usually only available in clinical studies or through private pay clinics.

How’s it
done exactly?

You’ll be put under a general anaesthetic, and a urologist will insert a small ultrasound probe into the rectum. The urologist uses this probe to clearly see the prostate and then directs the heating energy to the part of the prostate that contains cancer.

There are 2 types of HIFU:
focal and whole prostate

Focal HIFU

Focal HIFU treats a smaller area of the prostate and takes around 1 or 2 hours. It is best for men who only need treatment in one specific area of their prostate. Areas of the prostate which don’t have cancer are not treated, and this reduces the potential for side effects.

Whole prostate HIFU

Whole prostate HIFU treats the entire prostate, and takes about 3 hours.

You should be able to head home the same day as your treatment, although you will need a catheter for a few days.

Being a
good candidate

If you have localized prostate cancer (cancer that hasn’t spread outside the prostate), or prostate cancer that's come back after radiation therapy, HIFU may be an option for you. But remember, this treatment is somewhat new and isn't available everywhere.

Research is currently underway on HIFU to learn more about its risks and how effective it is at treating prostate cancer.

What's next?

Now that you've read up on About: HIFU, here are some related articles to explore as you continue to build your knowledge and understanding of this topic.
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