MOUNT DORA, Florida – 62-year old Bill Pelick was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer in December 2016.
"So I didn't have really the option to just wait it out."
With the clock ticking, Bill weighed his treatment options.
"I didn't want to have any incontinence problems. I didn't want to be going to the store having to buy diapers and things like that."
His urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, had the answer.
HIFU, or high intensity focused ultrasound.
"It's kind of like having a magnifying glass and shining sunlight onto a piece of paper and basically it's not hot near the lens but when you get to the focal point, that's where you get about an 80 degree centigrade temperature," said Dr. Cassell, urologic oncologist with Urology of Mount Dora.
The ultrasound beams goes through the rectal wall killing the targeted prostate tissue without damaging other structures.
"So there is almost no impotence involved with this procedure because you're seeing where the nerves are and you're staying away from them," explained Dr. Cassell.
"Because of the very little side effects, you know, sexual function, you still, you still have that," said Bill.
A year later, Bill is glad he chose the HiFu procedure.
"I'm doing good."
GOOD CANDIDATES?: Dr. Cassell says total procedure time will vary from patient to patient and the best candidates are those patients with smaller size prostates if the urologist plans to ablate the entire gland. One possible thing that may exclude this treatment option is a history of rectal problems or rectal surgery.
Although HIFU has been used in other countries since the 1990's for the treatment of prostate cancer. it has only been FDA approved in the U.S. for about two years.
Oftentimes patients can be back to their normal schedule the very next day.
If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at email@example.com.