Targeted Ultrasound Therapy Reduces Damage During Prostate Cancer Treatment
Conventional treatments for prostate cancer involve harsh chemotherapy, invasive surgery, or damaging radiotherapy. Doctors have been searching for an effective and less harmful treatment course for this type of cancer that affects approximately 209,000 new American men every year.
Researchers at the University College Hospital in London are looking at ultrasound waves as a targeted method of attacking prostate cancer tumors. Because doctors can channel ultrasound waves directly at a small area, they can avoid the widespread damage of similar therapies like radiotherapy.
The trial consisted of 625 men with localized prostate tumors. After treatment with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), 93 percent of the patients were cancer-free and did not require follow-up treatment five years following the ultrasound.
The patients also did not show the high rates of erectile dysfunction and incontinence that radiotherapy or surgery can produce. Only about 15 percent suffered erectile dysfunction, compared to the 30-60 percent of patients who suffer sexual dysfunction or long-term incontinence after undergoing surgery.
Researchers must conduct more independent studies and long-term analysis of HIFU-treated patients in the United States before doctors can consider the process for prostate cancer treatment. Doctors are hopeful that this treatment can become a new standard, which would damage only cancerous tissue and lead to a shortened recovery time for patients.
Cancer Treatment Side Effects are a Major Cause of Disability
Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death for men in America and the treatment for this disease is one of the leading causes of disability. If you are seeking Social Security disability benefits for cancer or want to appeal a denial, call the Disability Help Group.
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