New prostate cancer treatment shrinks tumors without the side effects

Guys, if you’re like me, then the word “wait” isn’t really part of your vocabulary.

When it comes to waiting for something at home…like a repairman, delivery guy, or the morning newspaper… I can be a toe-tapping, arm-crossing, finger-drumming machine.

After all, men don’t idle, complain, or ask for help. We just…DO.

But with prostate cancer, I often recommend my patients to try a “wait and see” approach. That’s because most cases of prostate cancer aren’t life threatening – and they don’t warrant the mainstream’s aggressive, slash-and-burn treatments like surgery, radiation, and chemo.

But if you’ve been searching for a happy medium – a way to treat prostate cancer without the risks that come with traditional mainstream methods – a new treatment may literally be music to your ears.

In fact, researchers say they can now shrink your tumors using sound waves.

The FDA has just approved a NEW treatment for prostate cancer called “High Intensity Focused Ultrasound” (HIFU, for short). And in a landmark study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, it helped 89 percent of patients who received it see significant reduction in tumor size.

And that meant that 93 percent of them were able to avoid surgery, chemo, and radiation.

It’s the same method that’s been used overseas on prostate tumors for years, and even here in the U.S. to treat uterine fibroids.

HIFU works because it directly treats the cancer with focused energy that heats and kills the tumor – and only the tumor – by literally bringing it to its boiling point.

Other common cancer treatments generally destroy everything in their wake, including your healthy cells and tissues.

And since the immune systems of the study’s patients weren’t weakened by HIFU, they were found to have a 97 percent chance of survival after five years. Now, that’s about as close to a perfect score as I’ve seen in prostate cancer treatments.

What’s more, the incidence of HIFU’s side effects was drastically lower than with other treatments. The guys who got HIFU in the study managed to dodge the nausea and hair loss that generally come with chemo and radiation; AND their risk of erectile dysfunction dropped to 15 percent, down from nearly 50 percent for men who have traditional treatments.

The risk of “having an accident” – that is, urinary incontinence – was also brought down to less than two percent with HIFU. That’s a vast improvement over the 20 percent chance of urine leakage with traditional treatments.

When you’re diagnosed with a disease like prostate cancer, your instinct is to fix it – and HIFU may become a safer way to do that.

It could be a while before a doctor’s office near you adopts the treatment. But don’t be afraid to have a chat with your doctor about your options and to see when it may become available.