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Frequently Asked Questions For HIFU Focal Therapy For Prostate Cancer

We understand you will have some questions. Here we answer some of the main questions that our patients initially ask. If you can’t find your question here, please get in contact with us.

Will my consultation with you take me out of my NHS pathway?

Every patient has the right to seek a second opinion about their treatment options. Working with The Focal Therapy Clinic will not impact your ability to access NHS services.

I have private medical insurance. Am I covered for this treatment?

All the major private insurance companies recognise focal therapy as a treatment for suitable prostate cancer patients and provides cover for this treatment.

Why is focal therapy now an option to treat prostate cancer?

The diagnosis of prostate cancer has been revolutionised with the introduction of MRI scans and precision biopsies which allow for precision diagnoses and personalised treatment plans.

Precision diagnosis, identifying the precise area of the prostate gland that is diseased, allows many patients to avoid invasive whole gland treatments such as radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy. These treatments have inevitable impacts upon erectile function and urinary continence.

Early stage prostate cancer patients can be managed through active surveillance, where your cancer is surveyed with regular tests and checkups for many years to see if treatment of your cancer can be avoided altogether or it can be cured through focal therapy which directly destroys the cancer. Curative focal therapy is a well tolerated outpatient procedure and has minimal impact upon erectile function and urinary continence.

Our surgeons will ensure that you have a precision diagnosis and will work with you to develop your personalised treatment plan ensuring that you have considered all of your suitable treatment options.

Will this treatment ‘cure’ my prostate cancer?

Our aim is to cure your cancer with minimally invasive treatments while preserving your erectile function and urinary continence and overall quality of life.

How does focal therapy treat prostate cancer?

When cancerous cells develop and grow within the prostate gland, they initially appear as defined lesions.

In early stage prostate cancer the lesions are confined within the prostate gland and can be cured with focal therapy treatment while preserving your erections and urinary continence.

Cancers which have progressed further require more invasive interventions such as radical prostatectomy, radiotherpay or oncological treatments.

What are the side effects for focal therapy?

Focal therapy has minimal side-effect for most men. It is a non-invasive day care procedure with very low reported incidences of urinary incontinence and 95% of men maintain adequate erectile function.

If I opt for Focal Therapy treatment, what aftercare will you provide me with?

Patients who have focal therapy are typically followed up after 3 months and at 12 months when they typically have an MRI scan. The majority of men will then subsequently be followed up by their GP.

How quickly can I get this treatment and what are the steps?

The first step is to evaluate your suitability for focal therapy. This will be based on your MRI scan and biopsy results. You will at this stage be presented with all of your treatment options and be able to consult widely to ensure you understand your best way forward. Once you are comfortable that focal therapy is the right option for you, treatment can be arrange in a matter of weeks.

After treatment with focal therapy, I’ll still have to go for check ups right?

After one year focal therapy patients are usually followed up by their GP.

What is the recovery time for focal therapy treatment?

For most men immediately after their focal therapy procedure they return home within a couple of hours, but are advise not to drive for 24 hours due to having a general antithetic. Many men choose to go back to their normal working life within 48 hours. Most men will have a catheter in place for 7 to 10 days. This is well tolerated by most men.

Will I ever have to go down the route of radical treatment or surgery after focal therapy treatment?

Around 75% of men will never need any further treatment for their prostate cancer after focal therapy. The majority of men who do need further treatment will be treated again by focal therapy. Approximately 7% of men will require radical treatment in the future.

I’m worried about incontinence. What are the effects on my urinary function after focal therapy?

Focal therapy has very minimal impact on urinary continence, with less than 1% of men having any issues after one year.

I’m worried about erectile dysfunction. What are the effects on my sexual function after focal therapy?

Prostate cancer treatment will have some impact on erectile function. 75% of men who have had focal therapy will maintain their erectile function completely and approximately 20% will do so with the use of erectile dysfunction medication, but may have been using this previously. Approximately 5% of men will need more significant support.

Why has focal therapy never been mentioned to me before?

Focal therapy is emerging as a new option for men with early and intermediate state prostate cancer and has mainly been available at the teaching hospitals in London. The mission of The Focal Therapy Clinic is to make this option as broadly available as possible.

I can see some articles that are not in favour of focal therapy. How can reassure me?

The focal therapy HIFU registry in the UK provides a very good database of the performance of focal therapy with prostate cancer patients. Before you make a decision on focal therapy we will make sure you are a suitable candidate and have all the information and evidence you needs to make a fully informed decision.

“HIFU is something people need to be aware of – I believe this treatment should be more widely available and more widely promoted. It wasn’t something suggested to me as a possibility by my urologist and I actually raised it myself. I would recommend HIFU and in fact have recommended it to others.”

Keith (The Focal Therapy Clinic Patient)

Get In Touch

As a group of consultants we are passionate about all prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.

Based upon the details that you know and can provide to us, we will send you a Plain English personalised preliminary suitability report for HIFU Focal Therapy treatment of your prostate cancer.

You can use the information we provide in your conversations with your existing NHS and/or private treatment consultant. Should you wish to talk with us further we would be grateful to help you, but there is absolutely no obligation for you to do so whatsoever.