High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Prostate Cancer

HIFU, short for high intensity focused ultrasound, as a new, updated technology offering an acoustic ablation technique utilizing the unique power of an ultrasound to eliminate prostate cancer tissue using pinpoint accuracy. Through focused sound waves toward a targeted area, HIFU rapidly elevated the temperature in that area causing the complete breakdown of tissue.

Due to the precision and control of HIFU, the risk of common side effects associated with other prostate cancer treatments is reduced. These risks include incontinence and erectile dysfunction. The HIFU process often takes around two to three hours and can be done in one procedure. It is often considered an out-patient procedure that uses epidural or spinal anesthesia. HIFU is marked off as non-ionizing, there is no radiation meaning that the HIFU treatment can be utilized a number of times if necessary and there will be no damage done to healthy tissue. Because of this, in some cases, HIFU is used as an alternative technique if various other treatments for prostate cancer fail to work.

Possibly the most well known HIFU system to treat prostate cancer is the Sonablate 500. The Sonablate 500 is a device that is computer controlled and designed to transrectally deliver HIFU energy directed toward the prostate to remove all diseased tissue in the area. The Sonablate 500 technology utilizes what is known as integrated biplanar ultrasound imaging to provide real-time planning, monitoring, and before and after therapy imaging of the area where the prostate is located.

HIFU works similarly to what occurs when an individual focuses sunlight through the magnifying lens. The precise focusing of this ultrasound energy throughout the duration of an HIFU therapy session increases the temperature of tissue located within the focal zone at a very rapid pace, while enabling it so that the intervening tissue located between the focal zone and transducer remain safe with no increase in temperature. The final result is a precise lesion located at the target area and monitored by the physician. All zones that are affected with the cancerous tissue or checked by the physician and a plan is created prior to commencing HIFU therapy. The technology’s imaging capabilities allows for easy identification of all vital structures, including the rectal wall, seminal vesicles and neurovascular bundles, to ensure that only affected areas are targeted and no unnecessary damage is caused.

When undergoing HIFU, patients need to take two enemas approximately two hours before the commencement of the procedure. Because the patient cannot move during the procedure, a light sedation is given intravenously. During the HIFU treatment, the physician inserts a small probe into the rectum. The probe emits ultrasound waves sent to the tissue. Throughout the course of the procedure, the Sonablate 500 provides real-time images of the entire area, like the prostate and surrounding tissue, providing detailed, immediate feedback. When the treatment is over, patients often need about one or two hours to recover and then are discharged. There is minimal recovery and men find they can return to their daily life within a few days.

At Palm Beach Urology Associates, we offer more than just state-of-the-art urology treatments — we offer world class medical services by specialists who care. Our practice services a wide number of patients who come from all over South Florida and abroad seeking state of the art care in urology with a personal touch.

New Study Reports Link Between Walking and Prostate Health

Many men, especially those over the age of 45, are becoming more concerned about their prostate health. In fact, one in six men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Protecting and preserving prostate health is no small feat, however, many options exist today that can promote prostate health without a multitude of unpleasant and unnecessary side effects. For instance, a new study shows that simply walking can greatly benefit prostate health. Exercise has long been shown to promote vitality, especially since it boosts the immune system, but this new study shows that walking at a brisk or vigorous pace inhibited unhealthy prostate conditions by up to 61 percent!

The experiment studied 1,455 men with prostate cancer. Erin L. Richman, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health and fellow researchers found that men who walked briskly for three hours per week or more, had a 57 percent lower rate of progression than men who walked at a leisurely pace for less than three hours a week. They also found that men who exercised more vigorously experienced a 61 percent decrease in death from prostate cancer. Dr Richman concluded that the results, “…suggest significant clinical benefits of brisk walking for men….” The researchers observed that many men battling prostate cancer may not engage in much exercise. However, as many studies continue to show, simply moving the body enough to get your heart rate up, as occurs with walking, is highly beneficial and may actually help to fight prostate cancer, as well as other types of cancer.

When we exercise, even for a short time, a wealth of positive reactions occurs within the body. But the benefits of exercise aren’t just physical. They are also mental, emotional and even spiritual. Mind-body exercises, such as yoga or Tai-chi, can help to relieve stress, anxiety and occasional depression associated with illness, as well as providing a good workout!

Common-sense strategies for cancer prevention, such as eating vegetables and exercising, are still some of the most effective tools we have to take control of our own health. Take care of yourself by nourishing your body with natural ingredients. Nature offers us not only sustenance, but powerful compounds now recognized by science to promote health, such as antioxidants and polyphenols. Today, more and more doctors are recommending natural ingredients found in plants, herbs, and some vegetables that can greatly support prostate health.

Herbal supplements that contain scientifically-researched nutrients, medicinal mushrooms, minerals, and botanicals from both traditional herbal medicine and modern western medicine are highly effective for improving prostate health and preventing the onset of cancer. Key natural extracts proven to support prostate health include a highly bio-available form of turmeric root, saw palmetto berry, grape skin, pomegranate, pumpkin seed, pygeum bark, sarsaparilla root, green tea, Japanese knotweed, and stinging nettle.

Another powerful ingredient for promoting prostate health is 3,3′-diinodolymethane (DIM). DIM is the biologically active ingredient derived from broccoli and research has demonstrated its benefits on cellular health and hormone balance. DIM promotes the excretion of both excess estrogen and xenoestrogens (potent estrogen-like compounds which are of special concern in prostate health). In addition, antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D3, selenium, and natural polyphenols including quercetin, resveratrol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea, and ellagic acid from pomegranate are also beneficial for preventing the growth of harmful cancer cells.

Lycopene and Prostate Cancer – Why There Is Hope

In the United States alone there are more than 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer each year, of which 30,000 men die each year, according to the American Cancer Society. The survival rate at this time is five years after diagnosis. However, this survival rate is increasing since there are some new treatments and because the disease has a slow progression rate.

Eating a healthy diet may help prevent the disease or, at least, slow the progression. There is a natural compound in tomatoes called lycopene. Some studies suggest that it may be effective in prevention, care, and keeping men with this cancer healthier.

Interest in the correlation between lycopene and the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer has caused a surge in research in the last few years. It is the red pigment in most red fruits and vegetables. It is also found in papaya, tomato and watermelon and is mostly known for its antioxidant properties. It has been under the research microscope for years now because of its cancer prevention possibilities.

Lycopene in particular has been the focus of thorough research in the hopes of coming up with a dietary supplement to counter the risks of cancer. Unfortunately, lycopene and prostate cancer research has, at best, only managed to give mixed results regarding the true potential of its cancer prevention.

Early studies have suggested that it could partially inhibit certain cancer cells from growing, but it turned out that the nature and impact of that research are just preliminary and did not provide a great deal of information at that time. The publication of ongoing studies has now created a great deal of hype. This hype has resulted in unexpected swings of support that regard lycopene as one of the most effective natural weapons against some cancer types, including prostate cancer.

In the recent years, the attention and interest in this particular antioxidant has grown, especially in how it could turn things around in the fight against prostate cancer. Many are considering this as a good cancer-fighting alternative. It gave ketchup manufacturers a great idea to ride on this opportunity, and was them advertising everywhere that their products are rich in lycopene.

In the year 2005, the FDA took it upon themselves to conduct in-depth analysis of every available lycopene and prostate cancer research data available and concluded that there was no defining link between lycopene and prostate cancer treatment. But they did declare; however, that a strong association is present with the consumption of whole red tomatoes to counter and reduce prostate cancer risks. Other agents aside from lycopene that are present in tomatoes are thought to have a part in the cancer risk reduction as well.

The American Cancer Society advises that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may lower the risk for this cancer and recommends five or more servings of these foods daily. It further recommends that men, especially, should include lots of tomatoes in their diets. They may be cooked, raw, or in tomato- based products. It seems that lycopene is not damaged by heat and, therefore, it remains potent in processed tomato products.

Several more recent studies in 2010 have indicated that lycopene may even prevent this cancer. Even though the mechanism by which this happens is still to be determined.

While the lycopene component will not affect everyone’s efforts, it should not be simply disregarded. The fact remains that with other vital components found in various food sources, lycopene contributes to the overall effort in the fight against certain forms of cancer, particularly with prostate cancer.

Currently, many doctors are not actively advising men about lycopene for risk reduction. Instead, they stick to the advocacy of having a well-balanced healthy diet, and that includes juicy, red tomatoes. This is great news since most tomato-rich products anywhere in the market are relatively cheap. They are also easily found in most people’s diet too.

Putting all these together, anyone would surely agree that there is indeed hope for the lycopene and prostate cancer matter. It would also be ideal if all these developments were taken into account when selecting the right prostate supplements available in the market today. Take time and effort to research and consider individual ingredients and their proper functions in your body so you can come up with an informed decision. Natural products are those most often recommended.

As always, one should always consult with his health care provider before adding any supplement to the diet.

Virginia is a Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter and Grandmother. Also a Native American from the Wintu Tribe of Northern California. Avid reader, swimmer, and Zumba Dancer. Always striving for better health and happiness! When all is said and done the most important thing in life is family. Visit us for more ideas on healthy living.

How Does Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer Work?

Robotic surgery for prostate cancer has made a large influence on prostate cancer treatment during the last decade. Though this type of robotic surgical technology was developed first by the United States military to be used on the battlefield, it has recently been applied to the regular medical setting; most notably it is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. The very first robotic surgery for prostate cancer took place in 2001 and now it is the most recommended treatment among American men suffering from prostate cancer. In 2009, 86,000 men in the United States had prostate cancer and an astounding 86 percent had robotic surgery.

Though the number suggests there is a robot involved, it is actually not true. The robotic prostatectomy is actually performed by a surgeon using the robotic system. It has four arms and is connected to a console the surgeon operates. One arm holds a very small magnification camera and the other three arms hold various surgical instruments. The instruments are inserted via small incisions in the abdomen approximately seven millimeters wide.

The robotic arms are able to rotate 360 degrees. This provides the surgeon with the opportunity to fully manipulate the instruments with full range of motion and flexibility. These arms rotate much in the same manner as a human wrist. Using hand movements and foot pedals, the surgeon is able to control the robot. This machine provides surgeons with a much higher degree of precision. It also removes the possibility of hand tremors and other slip ups.

The surgeon is guided using a three dimensional display of the area. By working with three dimensional images, surgeons are afforded a new perception of depth that they cannot achieve with normal laparoscopic surgery. It offers more precision and makes up for any visual feedback. These pictures offer surgeons the clarity they need to use the robotic system properly. This clarity is extremely important as it can assist in minimizing any unnecessary damage to muscles and nerve bundles along the prostate. Avoiding unnecessary damage means reducing the possible risk of incontinence and erectile dysfunction. These are two of the major side effects of regular prostate cancer that the robotic surgery looks to especially minimize.

The only criticism associated with the robotic surgery for prostate cancer and how it works is that the surgeon is unable to know how forcefully they are pulling tissue or how well the stitches in the area are holding. These items usually require what most surgeons call “tactile feedback.” However, according to a number of surgeons who have used this robotic machine for prostate cancer surgery, the high quality and clarity of the visuals they get and the inherent flexibility of the robot arms definitely compensates for this drawback. Robotic surgery for prostate cancer takes often around two to three hours to complete. Patients are put under general anesthesia during the time. The majority of patients who undergo this surgical process only experience minimal blood loss. Only in less than one percent of cases are blood transfusions required.

At Palm Beach Urology Associates, we offer more than just state-of-the-art urology treatments — we offer world class medical services by specialists who care.

Our practice services a wide number of patients who come from all over South Florida and abroad seeking state of the art care in urology with a personal touch. Our practice incorporates the latest treatment modalities including robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive techniques with the use of lasers as well as the traditional surgical approach to medical problems. Our doctors and staff pride themselves on the quality of care and the personal attention that each patient receives in our practice. Palm Beach Urology also offers Pediatric Urology for children of all ages, given the care and treatment that our children deserve.

Understanding HIFU for Prostate Cancer

Through the evolution of modern medicine, medical physicians have now come up with a new prostate cancer treatment known in many circles as HIFU, which stands for high intensity focused ultrasound. This new technology assists men suffering from prostate cancer by getting rid of all cancer infected tissue in the prostate region using an advanced acoustic ablation method that utilizes the powers of an ultrasound. This technology locates the infected area with pinpoint accuracy. The infected area is targeted using sound waves allowing HIFU to elevate the tissue’s temperature, making the tissue breakdown and consequently eliminating the cancer.

Numerous physicians are now recommending HIFU to their prostate cancer patients due to the limited number of harmful side effects associated with the procedure. HIFU offers patients a procedure that is controlled and precise, thereby limiting side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence, which are common with other treatments for prostate cancer. A prostate cancer patient only needs to devote up to three hours for this procedure and may leave mere hours after the procedure it done. They just have to wait for the anesthesia used to minimize discomfort to wear off. HIFU is non-ionizing and does not utilize radiation. Therefore, HIFU treatment can be used on a number of occasions without damaging healthy tissue. Due to this, physicians use HIFU when they do not see successful results using other prostate cancer treatments.

The Sonablate 500 is possibly the most well known HIFU therapy option utilized for the treatment of prostate cancer. It is currently used in a number of hospitals and clinics around the world. It is controlled through a computer and delivers the HIFU energy directed right at the infected area via a small rectal probe. Through this action, all tissue infected by cancer is eliminated. Through the use of integrated biplanar ultrasound imaging, relating planning and monitoring is offered throughout the duration of the treatment, as well as images both before and after of the entire infected region.

To understand how the HIFU system works, think about what happens when the sun’s rays are focused through a magnifying lens. HIFU offers the same type of precision focusing through the use of ultrasound energy. By focusing this ultrasound energy on the infected area, the temperature of that area is raised, killing the tissue. At the same time, unaffected areas remain unharmed and their temperature remains unchanged. Once the procedure is complete, the physician has the ability to monitor the location of the precise lesion. The HIFU system also helps the physician determine a course of action to treat and locate the infected areas. The high imaging resolution is just one of the many reasons why many physicians utilize HIFU and the Sonablate 500 in particular. It provides the opportunity to identify all vital structures located around the prostate, including the neurovascular bundles, seminal vesicles, and rectal wall, ensuring only the targets areas are treated, preventing unnecessary damage.

The requirement of the patient before the treatment can begin is to undergo two enemas before the treatment can commence. Patients also undergo light anesthesia to ensure the patient remains still during the procedure as even small movements can cause damage. The rectal probe uses ultrasound waves to also provide-time images to the physician of the complete area, offering immediate and detailed feedback. Once the procedure is complete, patients only need a few hours to recover and in just a few days, patients are able to go back to their life.

Richard R. Lotenfoe, MD, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and Board Certified Urological Surgeon in Orlando, Florida. He specializes in the treatment of prostate cancer using the HIFU procedure.The HIFU Treatment uses ultrasound to destroy prostate cancer cells.

Dr. Richard R. Lotenfoe is the Founder of Orlando-based Urology Health Solutions Inc., and CEO of Innovative Technologies, LLC. Since establishing his Orlando practice in 1999, he has been firmly committed to embracing minimally invasive technology and perfecting the latest urological surgical techniques. Since 1994 he has been one of a select group of Urological Surgeons in the United States skilled enough to offer the latest surgical procedures to his patients, which improve surgical outcomes, while minimizing pain and discomfort associated with traditional surgeries.