Arizona procedure could reduce side effects of prostate cancer treatment

Nov 29, 2017, 11:40 AM
(Public Domain Photo)...
(Public Domain Photo)
(Public Domain Photo)

PHOENIX — A new treatment for prostate cancer being used in Arizona could reduce the side effects experienced by patients, a doctor said.

“All the treatment modalities currently available for the treatment of prostate cancer have high side effects — there’s a high risk for erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence — either with radiation or surgery, but with the [high-intensity focused ultrasound] treatment, the risk of side effects is much lower or minimal,” Dr. Kashif Alvi said.

Alvi practices at Urological Surgeons of Arizona, the first facility in the state to offer the ultrasound treatment that kills cancer cells using focused sound waves.

He said the procedure reduces side effects — such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction — because it does not require an incision.

“You are basically treating … one of the areas and are not causing damage to the nerves or any of the surrounding tissues,” he said.

Because it typically reduces side effects and recovery time, Alvi said the outpatient procedure has helped some patients get over the mental burden of a cancer diagnosis.

Alvi said the treatment has worked best on patients under the age of 60 whose cancer was caught early.

“This is something that seemed more reasonable of an option for a guy my age who hopefully has many more years ahead,” Reggie Dye, one of Alvi’s patients, said of why he chose the treatment.

Dye said he underwent the procedure about two months ago and his life had returned nearly to normal.

The treatment was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015. Alvi said it had shown promising results in European testing and he hoped to replicate that in the United States.

KTAR News’ Kathy Cline contributed to this report.

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Arizona procedure could reduce side effects of prostate cancer treatment