HIFU Procedure Keeps High School Ref in the Game after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Extract from Cure (Cancer Updates, Research & Education)

After taking a deep breath I finally heard the doctor’s diagnosis of my condition: early-stage prostate cancer.

Fortunately for me, I was sitting in the office of Dr. Clifford Gluck, my urologist in Hingham. I say I was fortunate because Dr. Gluck took his time to carefully explain the pros and cons of my medical options, making sure I understood them and what to expect during recovery from each procedure. He went over a range of treatments, from active surveillance all the way to radical surgery, or chemotherapy and radiation.

Then Dr. Gluck told me about one procedure that is widely used overseas but not that common in the U.S. It’s called HIFU – which stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. This procedure was less invasive, and my recovery time would be quicker. Even though Dr. Gluck was the first in the Boston area to use it and has been providing the procedure to patients since 2016, he didn’t try to sell me on it – like a car salesman who only pushes the car he wants you to buy. He gave equal time to each option.

I decided to seriously consider HIFU when I heard that within a month of having the procedure I’d likely be able to get back to refereeing, working with the school kids, teaching them basketball and helping them stay out of trouble. I checked with my primary physician, and after researching it, he told me that if he had to make the choice, he’d go with HIFU too.

During recovery, I got stronger and stronger. I was able to jog and lift weights within 6 to 8 weeks and I could run up and down the court. I did have a catheter initially, and after it was removed I wore protective undergarments because there was some leakage in the early stages. After about 6 months, leakage dramatically declined. Now, leakage is rarely an issue for me. Regarding the two major side effects (incontinence and impotence), neither was a major issue.

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