High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

This is sometimes used as a treatment for early prostate cancer. It’s given as part of a clinical trial so that doctors can find out more about its side effects and how helpful the treatment is.

HIFU treatment is given under a general or spinal anaesthetic. A probe is inserted into the back passage (rectum). The probe produces a high-energy beam of ultrasound. This heats the affected area of the prostate gland, destroying the cancer.

The probe is surrounded by a cooling balloon to protect the normal prostate tissue from damage.

After HIFU treatment you’ll have regular PSA blood tests. If your PSA remains raised you’ll be offered a different type of treatment, such as radiotherapy or surgery.

The short-term side effects of HIFU treatment can include urine infections, leakage of urine, erection difficulties and, rarely, damage to the bowel wall. This may need to be repaired with surgery. The long-term side effects of HIFU treatment are not yet known.

Your doctor will tell you more about this treatment and any trials if they are suitable for you.

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Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy destroys cancer cells by freezing them. This treatment may be available in some hospitals as part of a research trial.