HIFU ( High intensity focused ultrasound) in prostate cancer

HIFU; high intensity focused ultrasound is a kind of cancer treatment which is used for prostate cancer and also kidney cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer. HIFU uses high frequency ultrasound waves to heat and destroy the prostate cancer cells. High frequency focused ultrasound is known as non-surgical prostate cancer treatment.  High intensity ultrasound applies sound waves to the targeted tumor area and it is used for non-spreaded cancers. HIFU energy does not pass to the air or bones so it can’t be used for every cancer types.

Advantages of high intensity focused ultrasoundHIFU treatment

  • HIFU has lower risk than surgical treatment
  • HIFU can be used for the patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment
  • Hospitalization time is shorter, you may be discharged from hospital in one day
  • Recovery time is shorter too, you will need to rest for 10-12 days  at home
  • You can try an another treatment method for prostate cancer after HIFU
  • HIFU can be used for the patients who had external radiotherapy and relapsed prostate cancer
  • You don’t need to have any cuts and etc in your skin; HIFU uses only sound waves

Disadvantages and side effects of high intensity focused ultrasound

HIFU is a new treatment method and you may not find it in every hospital or clinic near you

It is a new method and long-term side effects are not studied enough

Also HIFU  has some short-term side effects like;

  • Blood and small tissue pieces in urine
  • Pain inthe area between testicles and rectum
  • Testicle infection
  • Erection problems for a short time
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urination problem because of prostate swelling, if you can’t urinate please consult your doctor; you may have frequent or urgent urination problem. You may have difficult urination problem and have to use a catheter for a short time

How the HIFU therapy is done?

  • Hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy) may be done before if your prostate gland is too big
  • General or spinal anesthesia may be used
  • You’ll given an enema to clear your bowel on the morning of your HIFU treatment
  • You will lie on your back and put your legs apart on your side
  • A catheter may be applied to drain your urine
  • Your surgeon will put the thin ultrasound probe in your rectum
  • Doctor will follow the images on the screen that are created by ultrasound
  • The ultrasound device will apply ultrasound energy on your prostate gland
  • Doctor will try to apply ultrasound energy only on the cancer cells by the help of ultrasound images to protect healthy tissues around
  • Ultrasound probe is covered by a cooling balloon to protect your rectum and other tissues from heat
  • You will be invited to hospital to control side effects and success of the treatment

There are 2 types of HIFU treatment

Whole prostate HIFU: Doctor treats the whole prostate with HIFU energy if more than one area has cancer cells

Focal HIFU: Doctor uses HIFU in a local area of your prostate gland if only one area contains cancer cells. Focal HIFU is used to protect the healthy tissues around and minimize the side effects of the method


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