There is good news for those who’ve received a prostate cancer diagnosis in the Raleigh Durham area. A new treatment has been approved in the last few months by the FDA that has people very hopeful for the future of treating this disease – the most diagnosed cancer in the United States. The treatment is non-invasive, low risk, and has virtually no recovery time or side effects. Sounds great, right?
Well, speaking of sounds, that is exactly how the process works. SonaCare Medical, based right here in North Carolina, developed a method for directing high intensity ultrasound waves directly at a particular area. This allows them to target specific points where cancerous cells are while sparing any nearby areas with healthy cells. They call this method High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU.
HIFU has been used outside of the United States for years, and has successfully treated over 50,000 men with prostate cancer. The FDA has been taking a slow approach to approving this procedure out of its usual caution, but after years of digging into the benefits, they approved HIFU in October of 2015.
HIFU is a game-changer in the world of prostate cancer. No longer do men have to deal with a high risk of erectile dysfunction and losing bladder control in order to rid themselves of prostate cancer. HIFU targets the cancer carefully so it is very unlikely to damage healthy cells in the prostate or elsewhere in the urinary tract. This makes recovery times much quicker, pain usually non-existent, and the whole process much safer.
Dr. Tortora was an early adopter of HIFU. Dr. Jalkut, McRackan, Kizer, Neighbors and Kheterpal also perform the procedure.