One in nine men will get prostate cancer (here visualised using scanning electron microscopy). According to Prostate Cancer UK, leading patient-support charity for the condition, 10,000 men in the UK die from the disease every year. Treatment options for patients include radiotherapy and/or surgery, but depend both on the stage of disease and grade of cancer. Surgery, when possible, presents some risks, notably the possibility of impotence and urinary problems. New research is pioneering the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy for prostate cancer. Sound waves were used to selectively target individual cancer sites in patients with localised cancers. After a year, 95% of the 41 men treated were cancer-free, none suffered incontinence and only one in ten had poor erections.
Written by Brona McVittie
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