Safe cure for prostate cancer

76-Year-Old Is First To Undergo HIFU Procedure In India

To reduce pain and high risk involved in surgical treatment, prostate cancer patients can now opt for a non-surgical, radiation-free procedure.

The High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) procedure — a non-invasive and non-ionizing procedure — was introduced for the first time in Karnataka, with a 76-year-old patient undergoing it on Wednesday.

Dr S K Raghunath, uro-oncologist, Health-Care Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG), said the procedure was successful and the patient was responding well. “Since HIFU was conducted for the first time, it took time

to plan. It began at 4.30pm and ended at 8.30pm. There was no blood loss or scar. Since the patient is 76 years old, he will have to stay in hospital for a day, and will be discharged on Thursday or Friday.’’

The treatment is typically a two- to three-hour procedure performed once, primarily on out-patient basis under spinal anaesthesia. “Patients start walking within hours, and can return to a normal life within a couple of days,” he added.

HIFU technology uses ultrasound to destroy deep-seated tissue with pinpoint accuracy. “An acoustic ablation technique, it targets sound waves to the affected area, rapidly increasing temperature by 90-95 degrees in that zone, causing tissue destruction,’’ Dr Raghunath said.

 

Safe cure for prostate cancer Treatment India

A gift of health for retd teachers

On Teachers Day, 100 retired teachers with arthritis will undergo total joint replacement surgery for free.

Sparsh Foundation, a charitable wing of Sparsh Hospital, will hold ‘Sparsh Guru Namana — Tribute to Teachers’ programme from September 5 to 12 for teachers who were screened by the medical team on June 25 and 26.

The service, which costs Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per patient, will also be extended to retired teachers from across the state.

They can fix an appointment by contacting the following numbers —9743214890, 9008475000 — or the Sparsh Foundation at Narayana Health City on Hosur Road, at 080 27835921/22. This is for a screening test on August 16 and 17 between 9am and 5pm at the hospital in Bangalore.

The retired teachers need to carry an ID proof of their services as a teacher and previous medical records if .

 

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EARLY DIAGNOSIS IS IMPORTANT

“We were able to diagnose the cancer in the early stages. After evaluating that his fitness, we went ahead with the procedure,” Dr S K Raghunath, urooncologist, HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG), said. Before starting treatment, the age of the patient, general condition, stage and grade of the disease and patient’s preference are considered. “It is helpful for the elderly who are unfit for surgery, with little or no chance of erectile dysfunction and incontinence,” he said. Mukesh Rana, country manager, India HIFU, said the procedure confirms whether the cancerous tissue has been treated.

HOW COMMON IS IT?

In India, prostate cancer is the fifth most common cancer and fourth leading cause of mortality. In 2009, 18,000 new cases were diagnosed. There has been a 1% increase every year.

MORE ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER

  • Patients are often asymptomatic
  • No symptoms in early stages
  • Early stage cases are diagnosed either because of digital rectal exam or because of PSA blood test used for screening cancer
  • Symptoms indicate advanced stage

SYMPTOMS OF ADVANCED PROSTATE CANCER

  • Weak urinary stream or slow stream
  • Difficulty in initiation of urination
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Blood in urine, limb endema, weight loss and bone pain
  • Incidence increasing continuously for those over 20 yrs old
  • Rise in incidence is partially caused by improved detection capability, especially using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test
  • Currently, 75-85% of prostate cancers are not organ-confined in India because of lack of awareness. Hence, HCG is planning to start awareness programmes and campaigns
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Surgery-free cure for prostate cancer?

 

New Delhi: Curing prostate cancer — the most common non-skin cancer in men — may no longer require a surgery. And what’s better, it could take just 1-4 hours time, with patients walking out of hospital in two days flat.

Urologists in India are trying out the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), a new technology that does not require the removal of the entire prostate gland. Instead, it “cooks the prostate tissue” with ultrasound beams, passed by a robotic arm through the patient’s rectum, destroying and evaporating all the cancerous cells.

HIFU is a one-time procedure performed under regional anesthesia and can completely cure prostate as large as 40 grams. Conventionally, surgery has been the only approach for treating many solid tumors, benign or malignant. Dr N P Gupta, president of Urological Association of Asia, says a study in 1992 had said that 6.7 per lakh population in India suffers from prostate cancer. At present, the prostate cancer surgery of choice is a robotic radical prostatectomy, in which the prostate gland and attached vesicles are removed. It is done via five to six keyhole incisions made in the abdomen. According to urologist Dr Ramesh Ramayya from Hyderabad, a radical prostatectomy, however, can lead to loss of urinary control in patients and also result in male impotency.

 

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) India

Gupta said around 10% patients who undergo radical prostatectomy may suffer from incontinence.

Dr Ramayya said, “Around 60% of patients also become impotent post the prostatectomy. Those who are treated by HIFU don’t suffer from incontinence at all. Only 20% in this category may suffer from impotency.”

Dr Gupta, who is also head of urology at AIIMS, said HIFU is best suited for small sized prostrates. “The normal volume of a prostate is 20 grams. HIFU is highly effective in prostates as big as 40 grams. Even though HIFU seems to be the technique of the future, at present, it’s under clinical trial and we don’t know it’s long term efficacy,” he added.

Explaining HIFU, experts said it is non-invasive. A small probe inserted into the rectum emits ultrasound waves directly to the prostatic tissue. Ultrasound energy is focused at a specific location which kills the cancer cells. In the focal zone, the temperature is rapidly elevated to 90 degrees celsius in a matter of seconds which causes tissue destruction. During HIFU, the entire prostate is treated or ablated.

 

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Dr Ramayya said, “The treatment is pain free. People can return to a normal lifestyle within a couple of days.” “During the procedure, the probe constantly delivers real-time images of the prostate and the surrounding area, giving the physician immediate and detailed information,” he added.

Dr Ramayya, who has till now successfully cured three prostate cancer patients with HIFU, will demonstrate the technique at the international symposium on diseases of the prostate gland at All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Saturday. According to Dr Gupta, the disease of the prostate gland is a global problem with the increase in aged population. The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer is usually very slow growing and is most common among men between ages 60 and 80.