Moving and Healthcare

Finding a reliable physician when moving can also be a daunting task.  We’ll dive into one of mens most fought cancer, prostate cancer.  How does moving and prostate cancer merge? It doesn’t, but wanted to post information on a deadly cancer that affects over 220k men each year.

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Over the past two decades, radiation therapy was the therapeutic option for “organ confined prostate cancer.” These techniques were supported by the emergence of template guidance; scientific advances in (TRUS) also called Transrectal ultrasound and modern dosimetry. In 2012 the American Brachytherapy decided to recommend Brachytherapy as the only therapy for a confined low risk prostate cancer patients and also for those who had intermediate risk disease. This treatment is efficient and harmless. However, there are a number of risks associated with it. These includes: introduction of dangerous toxins to the; urethra, neurovascular bundles, the bladder and the rectum. These dangers are mainly caused by the anatomic closeness to the prostrate and high dose intensity to the source of the radiation. Moreover, the sudden decline in the amount of radiation is likely to cause sub-optimal control outside the area that is supposed to undergo treatment. These facts led to the evolution of new less dangerous approach to a confined prostate organ cancer. One the suggested therapies which emerged to be the most valid one was High intensity focused ultrasound also called HIFU.

What is “Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer”?

This kind of therapy makes use of energy radiation to kill cells by disrupting the cell’s DNA, hence preventing more growth or division of the cancerous cells. There are 2 types of radiation therapy for Prostate Cancer treatment: brachytherapy and external beam radiation (EBRT).

In External Beam Radiation Treatment, a machine is used from outside the body to apply the radiation to the prostate. These radiations are concentrated into beams which are exerted on the prostate while at the same time trying not to damage the healthy cells around the prostate. This method is usually used to treat the early stages of prostate cancer.

On the other hand, in Brachytherapy radioactive seed are used. These seeds are used directly into or near the prostate gland. In this case radiations are applied temporarily by inserting radioactive wires inside the prostate for a short time. Alternatively, radioactive materials can be put inside the seeds or small devices which are then placed in the prostate permanently so that they slowly release the radiation overtime.

Side effects of Radiation Therapy

Short term

Some of the short term side effects associated with this kind of radiation treatment include:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin starts to change as if it has undergone sunburn
  • Hair loss in the treated area

Long term effects of both radiation treatment

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary issues such as urination frequency and difficulties in passing urine, blood appearing in the urine and inconsistent urinating.

What is HIFU?

This is a technique which uses heat to destroy the area of the prostate gland affected by cancer using a probe which gives out a beam of “high-intensity focused ultrasound”. With the modern technology, HIFU, which is used at UrologyWeb can be used to kill targeted tissue during a procedure that is customized depending on the patient’s need. When this energy is delivered to a particular focal point within the body, the temperature of the tissue within that point rises to nearly 195 degrees Fahrenheit within seconds resulting to the destruction of the tissue. During this time, the tissues outside the focal point remains the same.

Treatment customization

Due to the accuracy and flexibility of Sonablate HIFU, the patients can agree with their doctors to decide the best customized treatment plan to suit their particular case.

There are three types of HIFU treatments:

  1. Full Gland HIFU procedure

This kind of Sonablate HIFU procedure is the best for patients having “organ confined prostate cancer” not limited to a particular area of the prostate.

Outcome

  • 92 of the patients had a successful treatment
  • Over 99 percent of them were content with the procedure
  • 70% of the men retained their erectile function
  • Takes only a day to perform
  • No surgical procedures involved
  • There is no radiation involved
  • The procedure can be repeated when necessary and does not dismiss future treatment options
  1. Focal HIFU Therapy

This kind of therapy is often applied where the tumor is treated instead of the whole prostate gland. It is mostly used to reduce the chances of damaging the cells around the prostate which is likely to reduce the side effects. The Focal HIFU treatment is mostly recommended for men having low intermediate risk cancer with a single tumor inside the prostate or several tumors all on the same side of the gland.

Outcome:

  • 95% of the patients maintained their potency
  • 89% of the men achieved the trifecta status which can be defined as the pad free, leak free consistence erections enough for intercourse and cancer control after 12 months.
  • The procedure took a short time between 20-90 minutes
  • Return to normal life fast after treatment
  1. Salvage treatment with HIFU

This kind of treatment is performed on patients with histological confirmed local recurrent non-metastatic “organ confined prostate cancer” after having undergone any treatment of this kind of cancer such as radiation or cryotherapy.

Outcomes:

  • 71% of the men came out biochemical free rate
  • 93% of them remain contented

 

Making a decision between the two types of prostate cancer treatment can be very tricky. Both of them are effective and have been used overtime. However, if you are focused on a biochemical disease free rate of cancer or the chance that after the treatment is done that you will quickly return to normalcy including living a normal quality life: then I would recommend HIFU treatment. After observing their different pros and cons it can be conclusive that HIFU treatment is the dominant alternative Prostate Cancer treatment of the two. HIFU treatment can also be customized depending on the degree and level of your prostate cancer..

 


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