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Considering HIFU (High-frequnency focused Ultrasound) as a treatment option

Posted 24 Apr 2019 at 10:56

I’m a middle aged married man with two children in their early twenties; I have been semi-retired since last year when coincidentally I was diagnosed with Pca. I had no symptoms when I asked for a PSA test to be added to a routine blood test to monitor my cholesterol levels.  Long story short PSA came out as 7.4, I was lucky to be living in London and asked to be referred to consultant attached to leading teaching hospital (UCLH ) who recommended mpMRI scan ( which  indicated Pirad 4 focal tumuor on one side and pirad 3 possible early stage on other side of my prostate. Then, following Biopsy (about 30 core samples) based on targeting the areas of my prostate which the mpMRI scan had indicated, I was confirmed with Gleeson 7 (3+4) Pca where the suspected focal lesion was,  and a small spot one core sample (Gleeson 7) on other side of my prostate. I was initially recommended robotic surgery to remove whole prostate as my urologist was one of the best surgeons in that field, but I didn't like the risk profile/odds of being left incontinent and impotent - not to mention dry orgasms etc. So I asked for  second opinion from leading surgeon specialising in HIFU ( high intensity focused ultrasound), who advised that he could "fry" the main tumour  with HIFU leaving most of my prostate intact (just a day treatment in hospital and a take home mobile catheter for three days after) with very little risk of the dreaded incontinence or impotence (which the alternatives of radical prostatectomy or whole gland radiation might entail to a greater degree).  Having extensively researched and thought about the pros and cons, for me the decision to go for HIFU was  clear. I figured it would buy me at least another ten years before I might get back to the same stage of Pca progression. In the meantime  I can keep an eye on the small spot of PCa on the other side with six monthly PSA test and annual mpMRI. Getting the HIFU focal ablation done does not preclude having it redone nor even going for radical surgery in future, if deemed necessary, should my Pca grow to the same stage level again. After the HIFU my PSA dropped down to 1.4 and now, a year later, I am about to do  an mpMRi scan again to check no Pca has grown in the meantime. All in all, after the initial shock, I feel gratitude  for having been diagnosed  with Pca at the stage it was and lucky to be able to get HIFU treatment. I was able to support and advise my brother , who coincidentally had more or less the same condition but lived in Ireland where HIFU is still not available and is only available on the NHS in certain centres in the UK as part of a trial programe or privately as I had been able. (NB most leading UK health insurers will pay benefit for private HIFU treatment  he Ireland Vhi wont pay for HIFU as they still don’t accept it as a proven from of treatment - but that’s another story).  After the initial shock of diagnosis, I even consider it a blessing to have some Pca left to keep an eye on as it has given me motivation and brought me to the realisation to keep better care of my health and lifestyle and to better appreciate and nurture loving relationships - I believe a healthy immune system is the best line of defence, especially in early stages, against cancer. And keeping healthy in terms of diet and exercise and controlling overweight, has so many other knock on benefits in terms of quality of life.  I wish everyone on this forum who may read this well.  I have joined it to share my story and experience and answer any questions  with  anyone here who may want support in their own journey having just been diagnosed  with a Pca and is considering their options.

Edited by member 24 Apr 2019 at 17:44  | Reason: typo corrections

Posted 24 Apr 2019 at 15:49

Hi Eamonn,

Welcome to this forum though sorry it is because you have PCa.

Interesting that you are planning to have HIFU as not many have this form of treatment especially as a primary treatment.
I had HIFU as a salvage treatment for failed radiotherapy at UCLH in London. (I didn't know there was a UCLA in London, although I know the best known hospital with this abbreviation is in the USA).

I hope the HIFU works well for you and we should be interested to learn of your progress. You may be interested in my experience which has more recently been added to by another member :- https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t10960-HIFU--my-experience#post133611


Edited by member 24 Apr 2019 at 15:51  | Reason: to highlight link

Posted 24 Apr 2019 at 17:42

Thanks Barry for the welcome and also alerting me to your previous thread topic which I see is very informative. Yes, as well as PCA I have a mild  my dyslexia condition so UCLA should have read UCLH.  As mentioned in my post I'm not sorry about being diagnosed with PCA there has been  a lot more positives than negatives on that journey for me. All the best Eamonn

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