Phone: (707) 546-5553
Email Us
1140 Sonoma Avenue 1-A
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Alternative Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Rates Take a Nose Dive Per Latest Statistics

Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU, Urologist and Prostate Cancer expert reflects on the latest American Cancer Society statics

The results from the American Cancer Society’s newest report on cancer rates is good news for everyone and particularly good news for prostate cancer patients: incidents of cancer is down as is the likelihood of prostate cancer patients dying from the diagnosis.

According to the report the cancer death rate has dropped from its peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 161.2 in 2014 (per 100K population), the most recent year for which data was available to analyze. Overall the decline in cancer is linked with decreases in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. The four major cancer drops are:

  • lung (- 43% between 1990 and 2014 among males and -17% between 2002 and 2014 among females)
  • breast (-38% from 1989 to 2014)
  • prostate (-51% from 1993 to 2014)
  • colorectal (-51% from 1976 to 2014)

“This is really exciting news for anyone who specializes in prostate cancer,” says Michael Lazar, M.D. “And its particularly good news for our patients. When a man is diagnosed with cancer, whether it’s prostate cancer or some other cancer – the news is always difficult to accept. With the number of people being diagnosed with prostate cancer dropping steadily along with the expected death rates, patients are now more empowered to be optimistic about their treatment options.”

According to the American Cancer Society, the decline in new cancer rates for men can be attributed to the recent drop in prostate cancer diagnoses. This has to do with the fact that routine screening with the PSA blood test is no longer recommended out of concerns for over-diagnosis and treatment of positive results that are best left untreated. Therefore, fewer cases of prostate cancer are now being detected. But this does not need to lessen the importance of getting screened for prostate cancer when symptoms are apparent.

“Although this is really good news, men who are concerned about prostate cancer, and anyone in the high-risk group still needs to be to screened early and at regular intervals,” says Dr. Lazar. “Once cancer has advanced beyond the prostate gland, available treatment options become more radical.”

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.

About Prostate Cancer

Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly, and don’t cause obvious health problems for men who have received a diagnosis. In certain situations, prostate cancer can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men. But one treatment that stands out among more invasive options for prostate cancer is High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and it is most effective for men who have been diagnose and are in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, this is one technology that requires vigilance at the early stages when HIFU would be most effective for prostate cancer eradication.

“For patients with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective in the early stages,” explains Dr. Lazar. “When the cancer is localized to the prostate treatment by HIFU is extremely effective. Unlike other treatments, this procedure preserves healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases, as compared to radical surgery or radiation.”

The oncological results for HIFU is comparable to more traditional prostate cancer treatments including radical surgery or radiation. But the side effects for HIFU patients have proven to be much less debilitating than more radical procedures.

About Dr. Lazar

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 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.

 

Focal Therapy For Prostate Cancer

hifu mini article cropped-logo-square.jpgFocal therapy, often referred to as a “male lumpectomy,” is a general term for a variety of noninvasive techniques for destroying small tumors inside the prostate while leaving the gland intact and sparing most of its normal tissue

As technology has advanced, physicians now have the ability to diagnose patients with prostate cancer earlier which means that often times tumors within the prostate are small and contained to the prostate.

Advanced imaging techniques, allow doctors to pinpoint exactly where the tumor within the prostate is located using multi-parametric MRI and UroNav fusion biopsies, enabling them to target only the tumor within the prostate, leaving other tissue unharmed.

Focal therapy is being studied all over the world because of the large potential for reducing side effects such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Additionally, due to the noninvasive nature of focal therapy, treatment and recovery times are dramatically reduced.

Read this article on HIFU Prostate Services.

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 at: www.californiahifu.com.

Santa Rosa Urologist Dr. Michael Lazar is Making History with a Nonsurgical, Outpatient Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU.

Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) waves target cancer cells with precision in a one-to-four-hour procedure that has little or no side affects and a quick recovery rate, giving those diagnosed with prostate cancer another choice over surgery or radiation.

HIFU has been used in other countries for years, and Dr. Lazar has been instrumental in bringing this innovative treatment to the United States. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last October, and he has since been performing the procedure at San Francisco Surgery Center for patients who travel from across the country to receive this leading edge treatment.

“The oncological results for HIFU are broadly comparable to radical surgery or radiation but the side effects are less,” says Dr. Lazar. “If the HIFU procedure is performed in the morning, a patient is typically up and around by dinnertime and can often return to normal activity within a few days without the use of pain-killers.”

Dr. Lazar has recently become involved with HIFU Prostate Services, LLC as their Medical Director.  HIFU Prostate Services is the first company to establish centers in the United States offering Sonablate HIFU technology. HIFU Prostate Services makes the non-invasive treatment option available through partnerships with some of the largest urology practices and experienced physicians that establish Sonablate HIFU Centers of Excellence.  Urologists are able to create their own HIFU program and offer treatment within their region. These centers also offer training and proctorship opportunities.

Along with serving as the Medical Director of HIFU Prostate Services, LLC. Dr. Lazar is also a clinical partner with his HIFU Center of Excellence at the state-of-the-art SFSC in downtown San Francisco. Dr. Lazar and his staff are proud to be early leaders in the usage of HIFU. He has worked tirelessly with SonaCare, the manufacturer of the instruments, to bring this innovative service for prostate cancer treatment to patients in the United States.

The HIFU technique is also being developed to treat many other types of cancer including breast, uterine, liver, kidney, and brain.

For those with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective for patients with early stage cancer, where it is localized to the prostate. It is performed on an out-patient basis that takes one to four hours. A urinary catheter is placed after the procedure for one to three weeks.

While some patients might experience slight irritation, “some patients can have a catheter and they don’t even know it.”

The procedure preserves healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases, as compared to radical surgery or radiation.

Another advantage is recovery time. With surgery or radiation treatment, recuperation time for patients is six to eight weeks, whereas HIFU patients return to normal activities within days.

Dr-michael-lazarDr. Lazar has been treating U.S. prostate cancer patients in Mexico since 2007, where he performed hundreds of outpatient procedures at a U.S. Joint Commission approved bilingual hospital. There, he also served as a HIFU instructor for other physicians and is now training doctors in San Francisco.

Because the treatment is so new, it will take another couple of years before it will be routinely covered by insurance. Those with non-Medicare insurance may get reimbursed to varying degrees.

“What will really make this explode is when the insurance companies are routinely covering the procedure and it will become widely available to all patients. The costs for this procedure are drastically less than for radical surgical and radiation procedures, and with fewer complications so insurance companies will be incentivized to cover it,” Dr. Lazar commented.

As soon as more doctors are trained to perform the procedure in San Francisco, Dr. Lazar plans to bring the treatment to his Santa Rosa office.

“I expect as word gets out there will be a progressive demand for this procedure, so training physicians will be a high priority. It’s already expanding rapidly and we put in an order for our tenth machine,” said Dr. Lazar, adding he won’t be giving up his general urology practice any time soon. “This is what I love to do.”

 

 

 

HIFU: Taking the UK By Storm

A treatment that uses sound waves to blast away prostate tumors has been proven to cure as many men of the disease as that of the surgery that removes the gland – while causing significantly fewer side effects. Until now the new procedure, called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), has been considered experimental.

This has meant that the majority of British men diagnosed with the condition – including former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman – have only been offered the more invasive operation called radical prostatectomy, which has a clear track record despite the risk of impotence and incontinence.

HIFU is a treatment that uses sound waves to blast away prostate tumours has been proven to cure as many men of the disease as surgery that removes the gland – while causing significantly fewer side effects. A landmark study announced at the European Association of Urology annual meeting in Munich revealed that focal HIFU, which targets only the tumour while preserving the healthy prostate tissue around it, offers a 93 per cent recurrence-free survival rate at five years, putting it on a par with prostatectomy.

Study Supports Hemiablation HIFU for Prostate Cancer

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) hemiablation offers mid-term promising functional and oncologic outcomes in carefully selected patients with clinically localized prostate cancer (PCa), according to researchers.

In a prospective cohort study of 50 patients who underwent HIFU ablation of a single lobe of the prostate, the 5-year actuarial metastases-free survival, cancer-specific survival, and overall survival rates were 93%, 100%, and 87%, respectively, Roland van Velthoven, MD, and colleagues at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, Belgium, reported in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2016;19:79-83).

The researchers documented complete continence (no pads) and erections sufficient for intercourse in 94% and 80% of patients, respectively.

“Our study suggests that hemiablation HIFU is a valid mini-invasive focal therapy strategy, feasible in day-to-day practice with satisfactory functional outcomes,” the investigators concluded.

The study included patients with localized PCa, a life expectancy of at least 5 years, and a prostate volume less than 40 cm3. The researchers used both multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI-targeted biopsy to localize the tumor.

The cohort had a median follow-up of 39.5 months. The patients had a mean nadir PSA value of 1.6 ng/mL, a 72% reduction compared with initial PSA pre-treatment values. The median time to achieve PSA nadir was 3 months. Biochemical recurrence, according to the Phoenix definition (PSA nadir plus 2 ng/mL) and Stuttgart definition (nadir plus 1.2 ng/mL), occurred in 28% and 36% of patients, respectively.

The 5-year actuarial recurrence-free survival rates for patients with low- and intermediate-risk disease were 75% and 36%, respectively, according to the Phoenix definition and 58% and 27%, respectively, according to the Stuttgart definition.

Three patients showed a residual tumor in the treated lobe, and these were correctly treated with salvage radiation therapy.

The Press Democrat: Santa Rosa doctor one of few using new treatment for prostate cancer

Lazar is part of a vanguard of urologists who are treating prostate cancer with a newly approved procedure in the United States that uses ultrasound to zap cancerous tissue. The procedure, known as high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, is used in more than 30 countries around the world. Until this fall, it had not been cleared for use in the United States.

Lazar, who has traveled to Mexico six to eight times a year since 2007 to treat American men diagnosed with prostate cancer, is now one of a handful of doctors expanding use of the procedure in treatment centers in the United States.

“There’s been one case done in Louisville, one case done in San Francisco by me, and that’s it in the United States at this point, because it just got approved to where we can be sold the machines, get the machines set up and get the centers going,” Lazar said this week as he sat in his small Sonoma Avenue office.

Lazar, who has practiced in Santa Rosa since 1983, has been conducting the procedure using the Sonablate, a HIFU device manufactured by SonaCare Medical. The device is the first to win approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and since then a similar device made by a French competitor has also been cleared by the FDA.

Lazar said treating prostate cancer with HIFU has a number of advantages over radiation and surgery, including reducing the possibility of side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Read the full article at The Press Democrat …

Minimally Invasive Prostate Cancer Treatment HIFU Now Available in the U.S.

sonablate500After much anticipation the FDA has finally approved for market in the United States the Sonablate® for the ablation of prostate tissue. Sonablate® is the first High Intensity Therapeutic Ultrasound (HITU) device to receive FDA regulatory authorization for prostate tissue ablation. HIFU offers an effective treatment for localized prostate cancer with significantly less risk of common side effects, such as impotence and incontinence which are typically reported with surgery and radiation.

HIFU Prostate Services, LLC (HPS) is a leading provider of minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Newly appointed HPS Medical Director Michael J. Lazar, MD is set to provide medical guidance and proctoring to new physicians who will now be trained on the Sonacare® HIFU system in surgery centers around the country. Dr. Lazar has been treating patients with HIFU since 2007 and is one of only three U.S. physicians who worked with SonaCare Medical, LLC to supervise HIFU treatments during FDA clinical trials.

John W. Linn, chief executive officer of HPS commented, “I have known Dr. Lazar since 2007 and have been impressed with his patient care and dedication to the HIFU technology since his first treatment. He is the ideal medical director for HPS and for teaching this new technology to US physicians.”

Lazar will also operate his own HIFU Program in partnership with HPS, offering prostate treatments in downtown San Francisco near Union Square at San Francisco Surgery Center (SFSC). SFSC offers patients a state-of-the-art facility that is convenient to hotels and the airport for patients interested in traveling from around the country for HIFU treatments. The actual Sonablate device has just been delivered to the Surgery Center in San Francisco, marking the first time ever that a HIFU device will be available at a medical center in the United States.

“It is very exciting to be a part of providing the vehicle for access to this technology for new and experienced HIFU users. Over the years, physicians in various stages of training have shown remarkable enthusiasm for providing HIFU for their prostate cancer patients, but they did not see a clear path for obtaining accessibility to the technology after FDA approval,” said Lazar. “HIFU Prostate Services takes the mystery and tedium out of the process by providing the highest quality of care, support and technology to the patient and to the urology community. Men who choose HIFU can contact HPS and then be referred to a regional HIFU surgeon. This approach facilitates wide availability of this treatment option for American men.”

HIFU offers patients a single, outpatient treatment for prostate cancer that is bloodless and allows men to return to their normal lifestyles within a few days. Although HIFU is designed as a single treatment, it can be repeated if needed. HIFU may also be used to treat patients that have failed radiation therapy and it does not preclude any future treatments including surgery or radiation.

About HIFU Prostate Services, LLC & Dr. Michael Lazar

At HIFU Prostate Services (HPS), our mission is to partner with physicians to deliver the highest quality of care, support and technology to the patient and to the urology community for the treatment of localized prostate cancer using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). HPS was founded in 2015 by a seasoned management team with over 50 years of experience in the healthcare industry and over 30 years focused on HIFU technologies The company is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

lazar close up

Dr. Michael Lazar

Dr. Michael Lazar has been certified by the American Board of Urology four times and has practiced in Santa Rosa, California since 1983. He is chairman of the Board of Redwood Health Services, Inc. providing insurance products for employee groups. Lazar is also CEO and managing director of Santa Rosa Surgical Management Company, LLC that manages the ambulatory surgery center at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Lazar received his urology training at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, La. and is a graduate of University of Arkansas Medical School.

For additional information, visit Dr. Michael Lazar at www.californiahifu.com, 707-546-5553 or www.hifuprostateservices.com. Media Contact: John Linn, 704-737-5925
.

North Bay Business Journal article on Dr. Michael Lazar — HIFU: poised for approval by FDA

Click to view full story from North Bay Business Journal …. A nonsurgical, outpatient treatment for prostate cancer, with a low rate of side effects, is poised for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the next few weeks.  Treatment with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) waves use heat focused at a specific location to destroy the area of the prostate gland affected with cancer, while any tissue outside of the focal point remains unharmed.  “The oncological results for HIFU are broadly comparable to radical surgery or radiation but the side effects are less,” said Dr. Michael Lazar, a urology specialist in Santa Rosa.  HIFU is most effective for patients with early stage prostate cancer where the cancer is localized to the prostate. The procedure preserves healthy tissue and preserving nerves, urine flow and erectile function in about 80 percent of cases compared to 40 percent–50 percent with surgery or radiation.  HIFU is also performed on an out-patient basis, taking one to four hours. A urinary catheter is inserted after the procedure and must be kept in place for one to three weeks. The most common side effects are infections in the prostate area, and incontinence, to a lesser degree than other therapies.  Click to view full story from North Bay Business Journal ….

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Therapy is Gaining International Acceptance for the Treatment of Medical Conditions

your-questions-answeredA growing number of international medical organizations have already adopted High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) therapy for treating an increasing number of conditions, and as a viable option to traditional invasive surgery, according to Dr. Michael Lazar, a Santa Rosa, California-based Urologist and a leading advocate for HIFU as an effective treatment for prostate cancer.

Dr. Lazar states, “The scientific community has known for years that high heat kills cancer. But only in recent years has the science advanced to the point where focused ultrasound energy can be used to provide pinpoint accuracy, sparing healthy tissue and preserving nerves, urine flow and erectile function in a majority of cases compared with traditional procedures, while also delivering the required amount of heat needed to destroy, or ablate, cancer.”

Today HIFU is being deployed around the world, especially in Europe, for the treatment of abdominal kidney tumors, urological cancers, uterine fibroids, and to relieve neuropathic pain associated with bone cancer, in addition to being a non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer. Medical literature also reports the use of HIFU in treating liver, breast and brain tumors as well as other conditions.”

For example, according to the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) located in Vienna, Austria, positive results were achieved with transcranial Magnetic Resonance MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery (tcMRgFUS) as a non-invasive treatment of essential tremors, neuropathic pain and Parkinson’s disease. CIRSE also reports that there have also been some investigations into the use of HIFU for temporarily opening the blood-brain barrier, allowing absorption of drugs into the brain.

Furthermore, a minimally invasive catheter-based HIFU system — designed to ablate heart tissue responsible for atrial fibrillation — has been approved for use in Europe and is undergoing an FDA approved trial in the United States.

“Adoption of HIFU has proceeded at a faster rate among international medical communities than in the United States, however, there are hopeful signs that this technique will soon be available to a broader range of patients here at home so they will not have to travel to hospitals outside of the U.S. to take advantage of this procedure,” Dr. Lazar said.

For more information about Dr. Michael Lazar, go to the HIFU website or call (707) 546-5553. His office is located at 1140 Sonoma Ave #1A, in Santa Rosa, CA 95405.

Indianapolis, Indiana-based SonaCare Medical LLC, a leading developer of minimally-invasive HIFU technology, is bringing several HIFU systems to market to meet growing global demand. SonaCare Medical, LLC, serves customers around the world through its family of affiliate companies including: USHIFU, International HIFU and Focus Surgery. For additional information, go to: www.sonacaremedical.com.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Get a Checkup, Have a PSA Blood Test and Learn About Symptoms of the Disease as well as Treatment Options

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death following lung cancer, and about one man in 38 will die of the disease. However, statistics show that most men diagnosed with the prostate cancer do not die from it, and more than 2.9 million men in the U.S. who were found to have this cancer are alive today. But why take a chance? A simple screening involving an annual blood test to measure PSA levels gives doctors a way to assess the presence and pace of the disease and the need for ongoing monitoring, a biopsy or direct intervention.September is national Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. About 220,800 new cases of this type of cancer are reported each year, along with 27,540 deaths attributed to the disease annually. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. While only one man in 10,000 will typically get prostate cancer under age 40, the risk increases to six of every 10 men by age 65, according to the American Cancer Society.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death following lung cancer, and about one man in 38 will die of the disease. However, statistics show that most men diagnosed with the prostate cancer do not die from it, and more than 2.9 million men in the U.S. who were found to have this cancer are alive today. But why take a chance? A simple screening involving an annual blood test to measure PSA levels gives doctors a way to assess the presence and pace of the disease and the need for ongoing monitoring, a biopsy or direct intervention.

“Why is there such a difference between cancers? Some prostate cancer is very aggressive and progresses quickly, while other forms take many years to become life threatening,” said Michael Lazar, a noted urologist with a practice in Santa Rosa, California and a leading proponent of non-invasive High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) therapy for prostate cancer treatment.

You have a number of options if it is determined that you have this disease. These include traditional surgery to remove the prostate gland, radiation (including inserting irradiated pellets into the prostate), cryotherapy (freezing of the prostate), or non-invasive HIFU therapy using sound waves to pinpoint cancer cells and destroy them without damage to surrounding healthy tissue and minimal blood loss.

Side effects associated with invasive surgical procedures including a hospital stay, a longer recovery period plus scaring, adhesions and blood loss. There is also the risk of incontinence, erectile dysfunction (ED) and a decline of libido. Radiation can ionize otherwise healthy cells that can turn into cancer latter in life. With cryotherapy, side effects include 90% to 100% ED and urethral tissue scaring that can obstruct voiding. The HIFU procedure is virtually painless, takes only a few hours, and there are fewer side effects, thereby maintaining the quality of life. Most patients are up and around the same day.

In most instances, there are no significant symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer, and symptoms may vary from one man to another, or can be caused by other conditions. However, there are some urinary symptoms that could signal cancer including: pain or a burning sensation while urinating as well as difficulty in starting or stopping, frequent urges to go during the night, an uncontrollable bladder, a decreased flow of the urine stream, or blood in the urine. Other symptoms include painful ejaculation or difficulty in getting an erection, swelling in the legs or pelvic area, pain or numbness in the feet, legs or hips, constant bone pain leading to fractures and blood in the semen.

“My advice to every man is to obtain a baseline PSA after age 40, then yearly exams and PSA tests after 50 years of age. For those having to make a treatment choice for prostate cancer, consider all options including HIFU. While not currently available in the U.S., HIFU is pending FDA approval and is available internationally at a full-service hospital in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where dozens of successful HIFU procedures have been performed by me and my highly trained team,” Dr. Lazar said.

For additional information, go to the website at www.californiahifu.com, or contact Dr. Michael Lazar’s office at (707) 546-5553. His office is located at 1140 Sonoma Ave #1A, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.