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.

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 .

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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