How does the procedure work?
The probe is placed in the urethra. They are reading. It is located right in the middle of the prostate. This is all done under real-time MRI so we can see where the heat has been delivered to make sure the cancer is properly treated. And we don’t want to damage areas like the nerves that control sexual function, or the bladder and sphincter that control urination.
Why Use Ultrasound?
We don’t need to cut. So there is no cut, no wound, no blood loss.
We know that exposure to certain tissues for a certain period of time at a certain temperature will lead to irreversible cell death. And this is true for cancerous tissues and non-cancerous tissues.
Who is the prime candidate for an ultrasound approach?
The typical patient is a patient with so-called intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is graded on a scale of one to five, with one being the least aggressive and five being the most aggressive. Intermediate risk is the second and third classes. So that’s one of the conditions.
Another condition is the patient’s prostate. And the place where the cancer is located must be at a certain distance, three centimeters from where the probe is located. So that’s one of the reasons why it’s important that patients interested in this treatment option be vetted by someone familiar with prostate imaging.
In addition, there are things that can make this treatment not a good option, such as calcium deposits that some men develop in the prostate. And this is also part of the examination that a man undergoes before he is offered this treatment.
When does an operation become necessary?
Prostate cancer is extremely common. One in seven men in the United States is expected to develop prostate cancer during their lifetime because many of these cancers are not aggressive or progress quickly. And this can lead to the misconception that every prostate cancer can be left alone and not a source of problems. In fact, many men are threatened with prostate cancer as a deadly disease.
In order to know which cancers pose a threat to the patient, it is important that you are offered a quality biopsy and follow-up with your urologist. The way to have a good basic risk stratification, that is, an understanding of each degree to which a certain patient requires more or less aggressive treatment, involves several pieces of an intricate puzzle. And that is why it is important that it is observed by a doctor, a urologist, who is familiar with this clinical scenario.
What can you do to avoid surgery or even prostate cancer itself?
There is no known way to prevent prostate cancer.
We know that there are certain risk factors:
- Things like ethnicity. We know that African Americans are more likely not only to develop prostate cancer, but also to develop more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
- Family history is also an important risk factor.
- Age, exactly. The older a man is, the more likely he is to get prostate cancer.
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