Could Ultrasound Therapy be a Treatment Option for Cancer Patients

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A minimally invasive prostate cancer therapy, approved by the FDA just a few weeks ago, uses ultrasound energy to destroy cancerous tissue.

The therapy called HIFU has been widely available for 15 years in more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Louisville urologist Dr. John Jurige has performed the procedure outside the United States for years, now he will perform the first HIFU treatment in the US in Louisville on Tuesday.

Dr. Jurige says the treatment is performed with an ultrasound probe.

Dr. Jurige says the side-effects of HIFU are extremely minimal with very few patients experiencing bladder control problems or erectile dysfunction, which can be common with traditional treatments.

“I think it is a game changer because traditionally we’ve had surgery and radiation therapy as the primary options for patients and in certain patients who are found to have prostate cancer at an early stage, who are particularly motivated to preserve these quality of life issues particularly the sexual functioning and the bladder control we now have another weapon that we can now use for these patients,” Dr. Jurige said.

Dr. Jurige has performed the procedure roughly 400 times over the last 8 years, in the Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico.

One of his patients who had the procedure is WHAS11’s Reed Yadon, who says he has had no side effects from the procedure.

Yadon has been an advocate for the procedure since he had it three years ago in Cancun, speaking frequently with men considering having HIFU.

Dr. Jurige says FDA approval will likely lead to the procedure being more widely covered by insurance.

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