Santa Rosa Urologist and Prostate cancer expert Dr. Michael Lazar provides an overview of prostate cancer screening options, and offers insight on a recent study suggesting that early detection saves lives.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month helping to put the spotlight on a very important topic; early treatment options. 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.

Why Early Detection is Important

A new study out this month by the American College of Physicians revealed that screening in fact reduces prostate cancer mortality, but the experts remain conflicted on how to avoid over-treating a positive diagnosis. Ultimately, there is no golden rule for men to follow, and how to pursue treatment of an early diagnosis turns out to be a very personal decision.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men talk with a health care provider so they can make an informed decision about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after a man has gotten information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer testing.

  • Men 50 and older, at average risk, and who are expected to live at least 10 more years should talk to a provider about testing and decide whether it is right for them.
  • At 45, men at higher risk, such as African American men or men with a close family member (father, brother, or son) who had prostate cancer before they were 65, should talk to a health care provider about the benefits and limitations of screening, and decide whether screening is right for them.
  • At 40, men with more than one close family member with prostate cancer at a young age (before they were 65) should have this talk.

If, after talking to a health care provider, a man decides to be tested, the ACS recommends a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test. They also recommend that discussions about testing should be repeated periodically, as men’s circumstances and preferences can change over time.

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, although many of them have side effects that most men would prefer to avoid whenever possible,” explains Dr. Lazar. “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 with HIFU 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 destroy specifically targeted areas of tissue. During HIFU, the sound waves pass through healthy tissue without causing damage. 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,” explains 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.

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