Dr. Michael Lazar Director of California HIFU discusses HIFU for Prostate Cancer and the findings of latest study which reveals that radical surgery is not the best way to treat early stage prostate cancer. New treatment options are available and patients need to know. 

HIFU for Prostate Cancer. In the cases involved with this study, surgery did not prolong life and often caused serious complications including; infection, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

A 20-year-long study by a national research team including Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and led by the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Health Care System overwhelmingly supports growing evidence that prostate cancer surgery performed on men in the early stages of the disease offers very few if any benefits.

In the cases involved with this study, surgery did not prolong life and often caused serious complications including; infection, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. “As treatments for prostate cancer continue to evolve, this study underscores the importance for men to research their options for early detected prostate cancer,” explains urologist and prostate cancer specialist Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU. “Although the trend to is advise a ‘wait and watch’ approach with early-stage prostate cancer, patients need to be informed about treatment options that won’t necessarily leave them impaired when treated sooner. HIFU for prostate cancer is one such treatment option.”

Prostate cancer facts

According to the American Cancer Society prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the third-leading cause of cancer deaths among men, after lung and colorectal cancer. In 2017, about 161,360 men are expected be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and as many as 26,730 will succumb to the disease.

In men with early prostate cancer, the study compared radical surgery with active surveillance. With the latter, men were treated only if they developed complications, such as urinary difficulty or bone pain. These types of symptoms could indicate progression of the disease. Many men in the observation group received no treatment at all due to the fact that early-stage prostate cancer is known to progress slowly and rarely cause symptoms. Of the 364 men treated with surgery, 53 (15 percent) suffered from erectile dysfunction, and 63 (17 percent) reported having incontinence. Another 45 developed other complications.

Early diagnosis and options for treatment

While the vast majority of prostate cancers diagnosed in the early stages involves the type of cancer that is non-aggressive and confined to the prostate gland, about 40 percent of cases lean toward a potential for being more aggressive. “Many men today are comfortable with taking the active surveillance approach, but some, particularly younger men, are more concerned about maintaining a cancer-free lifestyle for the long haul,” explains Dr. Lazar. “For these patients, noninvasive treatments such as HIFU offers more than just hope, it offers a chance for a lifetime free of prostate cancer.”

How is HIFU safer than surgery?

Although a relatively new procedure in the U.S. HIFU using Sonablate® technology has been successfully performed on more than 15,000 men in over 30 countries for more than 15 years. HIFU for prostate cancer is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that uses focused ultrasound energy to target and destroy prostatic tissue. HIFU was approved by FDA in the U.S. for prostate tissue ablation in October 2015.

For patients with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective in the early stages, where it is localized to the prostate. It is not usually recommended for advanced stages of the disease. Performed on an out-patient basis, the procedure works in such a way to preserve healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases. “This is an extremely well tolerated procedure,” said Dr. Lazar. “Patients return to normal activity very quickly. There is no blood loss and very little pain when compared to other treatments for prostate cancer.”

Dr. Lazar added that like any medical procedure, prostate cancer treatments can have side effects. “But with HIFU the side effects are much lower than with any of the other treatments for prostate cancer.”

About HIFU for Prostate Cancer and Dr. Michael Lazar

Dr. Lazar is part of Northern California Medical Associates and operates California HIFU in Santa Rosa. He is the medical director of HIFU Prostate Services, LLC, a leading provider of minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Dr. Lazar is also a clinical partner with HPS with the HIFU San Francisco Surgery Center of Excellence, a state-of-the-art facility that is convenient to hotels and the airport.  For more information about Dr. Lazar, HIFU treatment for prostate cancer visit the HIFU website or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.