New technology allows patients to skip radiation and surgery when treating prostate cancer

The treatment allows patients to skip radiation or surgery.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 11:24 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The side effects from chemotherapy, radiation or surgery can be rough and even life changing, for cancer patients. But now there is another option for treating prostate cancer.

Bob Woods says he never noticed symptoms, but he was going in for regular check-ups for his prostate antigen levels. High levels can indicate that someone has prostate cancer.

“Over the period of about a year it went a full point up, which was too fast,” Woods said.

His doctor did a biopsy and confirmed he had early stages of prostate cancer. The typical treatment for this is either radiation or surgery. But urologist Dr. Patrick Springhart told him about another treatment offered at Prisma Health.

It’s called Focal One HIFU Robotic System therapy. The device uses high-intensity focused ultrasound waves to target and kill cancer cells. It works in the similar way sunlight passes through a magnifying glass, concentrating on the exact lesion of cancer.

“We can just focus on that area in particular where the cancer is and leave the normal tissue untouched, so it’s not treated during the procedure,” Dr. Springhart said.

The procedure took about an hour and Woods went home that same day.

“There was no pain and nothing that was debilitating,” Woods said. “It was pretty surprising. There was no bleeding or anything like that.”

Dr. Springhart said the chances of reoccurrence of cancer in the same spot are very low.

“When we have re-biopsy patients there’s been no cancer yet detected,” Springhart said. “And the functional outcomes like incontinence or leakage of urine, or erectile dysfunction have not been present in any of the patients.”

Woods says he’s really grateful because he has two grandchildren.

“Since my wife passed away they were a lot of my reason to keep going on,” Woods said. “I would certainly like to see them grow and perhaps marry and become parents themselves.”