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Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Dr. Michael J. Lazar

About Dr. Michael J. Lazar

Michael J. Lazar, M.D. graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1978 and completed postgraduate training in surgery and urology at LSU in 1983. He is four-time board certified by the American Board of Urology and is Managing Physician Director of Santa Rosa Surgical Management Co., LLC, which manages Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Center. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Redwood Health Services and is a member of the American Urological Association. Dr. Lazar is married with 3 children, and has been active in Boy Scout leadership and coaching soccer. His hobbies include hiking, backpacking, camping, alpine skiing, and the occasional fly-fishing outing. Dr. Lazar also enjoys living in the wine country, which affords cultivation of a love of wine, and proximity to San Francisco allows enjoyment of its theater and fine arts. Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU, a medical procedure that applies high-intensity focused ultrasound energy to locally heat and destroy diseased or damaged tissue with prostate cancer through ablation. Dr. Lazar is working closely with SonaCare to bring this innovative service to Americans with this disease.

New trial results encourage patients to weigh long-term impact of treatment options with their doctors

(Published on ScienceDaily – September 15, 2016)

In light of the findings from the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) would like to congratulate the authors and investigators for conceiving and completing a difficult clinical trial to randomize care for 2,664 men who volunteered to be a part of this study. Their paper emphasizes the importance of joint decision making between prostate cancer patients and their physicians when weighing treatment options for early stage disease. Findings from the ProtecT trial can help patients understand the full range of approaches to manage their disease, including the risks and benefits of active monitoring versus early treatment with radiation therapy (RT) or surgery.

Ten-year findings from the trial indicate that for men with early stage prostate cancer, there is no difference in mortality rates following active monitoring, surgery or RT, and moreover, that cancer-specific deaths at ten years following diagnosis averaged only one percent for all men enrolled in the trial.

Growth of the cancer outside of the prostate did vary between monitoring and treatment groups. Rates of both regional spread and distant metastases were significantly higher for men who were monitored rather than treated for their early stage disease. Progression did not vary, however, between the surgery and RT groups, although patients in the trial reported different side effects with each modality.

“These findings underscore the essential role of dialogue in treatment selection,” said ASTRO President David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO. “Men with prostate cancer are all different, and the relative costs and benefits associated with the multiple options to treat it can vary substantially between individuals. The best treatment decisions for prostate cancer, or any cancer, take into consideration the specifics of each individual patient’s disease, expectations and preferences. These options can be confusing, and patients should always make these decisions after consultation with a radiation oncologist and urologist”

ASTRO, the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are currently developing updated guidelines for the management of clinically localized prostate cancer. The recommendations, which update a 2007 collaborative guideline issued by the societies, are scheduled for publication in mid-2017.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

By | September 20th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Understanding Prostate Cancer; Know Your Cancer Risk Factors

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 7 men. But who is most at risk of getting prostate cancer and why?

There are several major factors that influence risk, and some of them unfortunately cannot be changed.

Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although only 1 in 10,000 men under age 40 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69.

In fact, more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. The average age at diagnosis of prostate cancer in the United States is 69 years. After that age, the chance of developing prostate cancer becomes more common than any other cancer in men or women.

Race: African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Conversely, Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk.

Read the full story here …

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553 or visit our website: www.californiahifu.com

By | September 13th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News|0 Comments

California HIFU and Dr. Michael Lazar Offers a Look at September’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Efforts

For this month’s awareness campaign Urologist and Prostate cancer expert Dr. Michael Lazar provides an overview of prostate cancer screening options, helping to empower men to make smart choices.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month giving light to a very important health topic among men and their families. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the USA and the second most common cause of cancer related death, lung cancer taking the number one spot. Currently it is estimated that one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

How Prostate Cancer differs from other cancers

Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly, and don’t cause overt health problems for many men who have received a diagnosis. In certain situations, prostate cancer can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men.

“Of course, prostate cancer is a serious health issue,” says Dr. Lazar. “But contrary to what you might think, the vast majority of prostate cancer patients do not die from the disease.” According to the American Cancer Society more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.

Who is at risk?

The highest risk groups for prostate cancer are men over the age of 50, African-American men, and men who have a father, brother or son who has had prostate cancer. The benefits of screening for prostate cancer is a hotly debated issue, and a most likely a decision made best on an individual basis. But for those who are concerned about prostate cancer and anyone in the high-risk group, the more obvious option may be to get screened early and at regular intervals.

To screen or not to screen

There are two schools of thought when it comes to screening for prostate cancer and no golden rule for men to follow coming from the experts. Those who advocate regular screening believe that finding and treating prostate cancer early offers a better chance of a cure, while the other school of thought recommends against regular screening because most prostate cancers grow very slowly and the side effects of over-treatment can be too onerous for an otherwise healthy man to bear.

While the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test remains an important tool in the diagnostic process, men over 40 should discuss screening with their physicians to determine if it is right for them. As early treatment options continue to improve, for some men knowing early may give them an opportunity to make a well-informed choice that they might not have otherwise.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Options

There are many treatment options available today including;

  • active surveillance
  • radiation therapy
  • surgery to remove the cancerous gland
  • freezing (cryotherapy)
  • hormonal therapy for very elderly patients
  • high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

All of these treatment options can be effective under the right circumstances, and many of them have side effects that most men would prefer to avoid, if possible. The last option, HIFU is perhaps one of the most exciting non-invasive prostate cancer treatment options today – with few to zero side effects in many cases. The key to success is early detection, and swift treatment.

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

HIFU is a FDA approved precise and targeted therapy that reduces the risk of complications caused by surgery and radiation. HIFU uses ultrasound energy, or sound waves, to heat and destroy specifically targeted areas of tissue. During HIFU, the sound waves pass through healthy tissue without causing damage. At the focal point of the sound waves (like a magnifying glass focusing the rays of the sun to burn a leaf), the tissue temperature is raised to 90 degrees Celsius, destroying the targeted tissue.

Dr. Lazar, a Santa Rosa urologist and prostate cancer expert, is a recognized leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007.

“HIFU may not be appropriate in every situation, but it is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate,” says Dr. Lazar.

About Dr. Lazar and California HIFU

Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. Dr. Lazar formed California HIFU in order to offer minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment to men with the Sonablate.

For more information about HIFU treatment which is now available in San Francisco, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more.

By | September 1st, 2016|News|0 Comments

Understanding the prostate cancer diagnosis

A doctor typically diagnoses prostate cancer after closely examining biopsy cells through a microscope. There are several types of cells in the prostate, and each contributes in its own way to the prostate’s development, architecture, and function.

But cancer cells look different than normal prostate cells. Pathologists look for these differences first to detect the presence of cancer and then to determine the cancer grade.

Gleason Grading

The Gleason grading system accounts for the five distinct patterns that prostate tumor cells tend to go through as they change from normal cells to tumor cells.

The cells are scored on a scale from 1 to 5:

  • “Low-grade” tumor cells (those closest to 1) tend to look very similar to normal cells.
  • “High-grade” tumor cells (closest to 5) have mutated so much that they often barely resemble the normal cells.

The Gleason Score

The pathologist looking at the biopsy sample assigns one Gleason grade to the most predominant pattern in your biopsy and a second Gleason grade to the second most predominant pattern. The two grades added together determine your Gleason score (between 2 and 10).

Generally speaking, cancers with lower Gleason scores (2 – 4) tend to be less aggressive, while cancers with higher Gleason scores (7 – 10) tend to be more aggressive.

It’s also important to know whether any Gleason 5 is present, even in just a small amount, and most pathologists will report this. Having any Gleason 5 in your biopsy or prostate puts you at a higher risk of recurrence.

Read the full story here …

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553 or visit our website: www.californiahifu.com

By | August 23rd, 2016|News|0 Comments

Can prostate cancer be prevented?

National Cancer Institute offer these guidelines for the prevention of prostate cancer …

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.

Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:

  • Changing lifestyle or eating habits.
  • Avoiding things known to cause cancer.
  • Taking medicines to treat a precancerouscondition or to keep cancer from starting.

Get more information about prostate cancer from the National Cancer Institute here …

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

By | August 16th, 2016|News|0 Comments

How early can prostate cancer be detected?

Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. For some types of cancer, screening can help find cancers at an early stage, when they are likely to be easier to treat. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer can often be found before symptoms arise by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. Another way to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which the doctor puts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland.

If the results of either one of these tests are abnormal, further testing is often done to see if a man has cancer. If prostate cancer is found as a result of screening with the PSA test or DRE, it will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done.There is no question that screening can help find many prostate cancers early, but there are still questions about whether the benefits of screening outweigh the risks for most men. There are clearly both pros and cons to the prostate cancer screening tests in use today.At this time, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men thinking about getting screened for prostate cancer should make informed decisions based on available information, discussion with their doctor, and their own views on the possible benefits, risks, and limits of prostate cancer screening. To learn more about prostate cancer screening and the current American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines, see Prostate Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

By | August 9th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News|0 Comments

California HIFU is the Right Choice for Prostate Cancer Treatment

For the past five years, Chris Lockheed’s PSA numbers had been going up. Then, last November, a biopsy revealed that he had two tumors on his prostate. Chris, 68, started doing research into what kind of options for treatment were available to him. When a radiation specialist in Rohnert Park told him about Dr. Michael Lazar and the HIFU procedure, he did more homework. He found that Dr. Lazar had done hundreds of these procedures in Puerto Vallarta, and the treatment was given FDA approval last October.

“Dr. Lazar explained everything, and he’s done over 300 of the procedures, that’s why I went to him. I felt very confident. I looked at all of the choices and said ‘this is for me’.” In March, Chris, who lives in Santa Rosa, drove down to the San Francisco Surgery Center for the three
hour outpatient procedure. Afterwards, feeling no side affects, Chris got some take-out food and drove home. Chris also mentioned he needed no
pain medication. The only side affect he had was the catheter, which was “a little irritating.”

Chris is a pet supplies representative, and his travels take him from Marin to Eureka. He is also a professional drummer who has recorded with Epic, CBS/Columbia, Capitol, Universal, and independent labels. “To be careful, I took a week off from work, but I was still active.” A week after the procedure, he went back to Dr. Lazar to have the catheter taken out.

“There was no leaking urine issues or erectile dysfunction, everything was fine. After getting the catheter out, everything was totally normal.” A
week after the procedure Chris was back at work, drumming on the weekend, and working in the yard. Chris is so satisfied with the results he has been recommending Dr. Lazar and the HIFU procedure to other men as an option to prostate surgery.

Lazar testimonial jpg

For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

Prostate cancer news: Laser ablation becomes viable treatment option

Prostate cancer news: Laser ablation becomes viable treatment option

lazer beamProstate cancer patients may soon have a new option to treat their disease: laser heat. UCLA researchers have found that focal laser ablation – the precise application of heat via laser to a tumor – is both feasible and safe in men with intermediate risk prostate cancer.

The Phase 1 study found no serious adverse effects or changes in urinary or sexual function six months after the procedure. The technique uses magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to guide the insertion of a laser fiber into cancerous tumors. When heated, the laser destroys the cancerous tissue.

A follow-up study, presented in a poster presentation at the American Urology Association meeting in May, showed the potential to transfer this treatment for the first time into a clinic setting, using a special device (Artemis) that combines both MRI and ultrasound for real-time imaging. The Artemis device arrived at UCLA in 2009. Since then, 2000 image-fusion biopsies have been performed – the most in the U.S. – and this large experience has paved the way for treatment to be done in the same way.

If the laser technique, known as MRI-guided focal laser ablation, proves effective in further studies — especially using the new MRI-ultrasound fusion machine — it could improve treatment options and outcomes for men treated for such cancers, said study senior author Dr. Leonard Marks, a professor of urology and director of the UCLA Active Surveillance Program. Historically, prostate cancer has been treated with surgery and radiation, which can result in serious side effects such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

“Our feeling was that if you can see prostate cancer using the fusion MRI and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, why not stick a laser fiber in the tumor the same way to kill it,” Marks said. “This is akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Instead of removing the whole organ, target just the cancer inside it. What we are doing with prostate cancer now is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.”

Read the full story here …

In the U.S. HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.
By | July 14th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU|0 Comments

Prostate cancer news: Laser ablation becomes viable treatment

Prostate cancer patients may soon have a new option to treat their disease: laser heat. UCLA researchers have found that focal laser ablation – the precise application of heat via laser to a tumor – is both feasible and safe in men with intermediate risk prostate cancer.

An illustration of laser ablation to treat prostate cancer.

The Phase 1 study found no serious adverse effects or changes in urinary or sexual function six months after the procedure. The technique uses magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to guide the insertion of a laser fiber into cancerous tumors. When heated, the laser destroys the cancerous tissue.

A follow-up study, presented in a poster presentation at the American Urology Association meeting in May, showed the potential to transfer this treatment for the first time into a clinic setting, using a special device (Artemis) that combines both MRI and ultrasound for real-time imaging. The Artemis device arrived at UCLA in 2009. Since then, 2000 image-fusion biopsies have been performed – the most in the U.S. – and this large experience has paved the way for treatment to be done in the same way.

If the laser technique, known as MRI-guided focal laser ablation, proves effective in further studies — especially using the new MRI-ultrasound fusion machine — it could improve treatment options and outcomes for men treated for such cancers, said study senior author Dr. Leonard Marks, a professor of urology and director of the UCLA Active Surveillance Program. Historically, prostate cancer has been treated with surgery and radiation, which can result in serious side effects such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

“Our feeling was that if you can see prostate cancer using the fusion MRI and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, why not stick a laser fiber in the tumor the same way to kill it,” Marks said. “This is akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Instead of removing the whole organ, target just the cancer inside it. What we are doing with prostate cancer now is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.”

Read the full story here …

In the U.S. HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.
By | July 12th, 2016|HIFU, News|0 Comments

Best-selling Author John Grisham Turns HIFU Advocate

John Grisham Turns Promoter for Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

Takes a break from legal thrillers to tout HIFU’s benefits

Best-selling author John Grisham has a side job.

When the legal thriller writer is taking a break from stories of tort reform and multi-million dollar trials, or of small town justice gone awry and blackmailed jurors — or any of the other legal topics he’s covered in the roughly one book a year he’s written since 1988 — he thinks about high-intensity focused ultrasound.

Or rather, he’s busy raising money and awareness for the technology as part of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, where he sits on the board. He “still doesn’t understand the technology” behind focused ultrasound, he said in a recent TEDx Talk in Charlottesville, Va., but nevertheless advocates for it because he’s found “no other cause, issue, non-profit, or charity that can potentially save so many lives.”

Grisham’s latest effort to get more eyes on, and more money for, the foundation is The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller, a 67-page book that tells the story of a man with glioblastoma. It includes diagrams of the procedure and pictures of an actual glioblastoma, and it’s available for free as an Amazon Single, where it was sitting at #16 on the most popular free Kindle Single list at the time of writing.

Read the full story here …

By | March 1st, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments