ORLANDO, Fla. - Sixty-two-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," Pelick said.
With the clock ticking, Pelick 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," Pelick explained.
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," explained Cassell, a urologic oncologist at Urology of Mount Dora.
The ultrasound beam 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," Cassell continued.
"Because of the very little side-effects, you know, sexual function, you still... you still have that," Pelick said.
A year later, Pelick is glad he chose the HIFU procedure.
Although HIFU has been used in other countries since the 1990s for the treatment of prostate cancer, it has only been FDA-approved in the U.S. for about two years. With no recovery time, patients can be back to their normal schedule the very next day.
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