Patients treated with HIFU system share their experiences
Jean (aged 80)
The urologist prescribed radiotherapy treatment […]. This made me a little uneasy, in view of the side effects suffered by friends of mine who had opted for radiotherapy, and what I had read about other patients' experiences in online newsgroups. Fortunately, a friend who happens to be a physician told me about an ultrasound treatment (Ablatherm®) that was producing good results.
In November 2004, when I was 76, I underwent ablathermy on one lobe, under local anesthetic. I was in no pain during my five days in hospital, and the day after leaving hospital I took the wheel myself for the 200 mile drive home. I did not experience any side effects, such as incontinence or impotence, following the treatment. In April 2005, a second ablathermy treatment was performed on the other lobe. My PSA count fell and a biopsy in October did not reveal any tumors.
I'm now almost 81 years old and in good health and good spirits, with an unimpaired lifestyle and plenty of occupations to make the days fly past, including social activities (Rotary club), intellectual pastimes (IT and video editing) and manual work (DIY and gardening)… not to mention my family life.
Boris (aged 83)
"In 2001, my urologist confirmed that I had prostate cancer and suggested three treatment options, including Ablatherm®. My urologist said “You can either have conventional surgery, opt for radiotherapy or go to see Professor Vallancien for ablathermy treatment.”
To help me make an informed choice I consulted an expert in the HIFU technique, who described the Ablatherm® treatment to me. Unlike with radiotherapy, there was no risk of accidents; in addition, the hospital stay was short, with only minor urine leaks and no post-treatment medication.
Thus reassured, I underwent ablathermy on 19 September, 2003. The actual procedure, via the endo-rectal route, was totally painless. I think I even fell asleep for a while during the treatment.
Although I did feel some pain during the first three days afterwards, it was nice to be able to leave hospital quickly and without any leaking.
I still see my urologist for check-ups, but I feel healthy and my PSA count has stabilized since the ablathermy treatment."
Jacques (aged 70)
“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October 2007, my physician offered me three treatment options: surgery, radiotherapy and curietherapy. I instantly ruled out the idea of a total prostatectomy. The radiotherapy option involved 35 sessions spread over seven weeks, which seemed very inconvenient to manage.” By a process of elimination, Jacques, who did not know about Ablatherm® HIFU, opted for curietherapy.
This procedure, which involves implanting grains of radioactive material, was carried out in March 2008. “In December 2008, after checkup biopsies had raised fears that the cancer had recurred, I contacted the teaching hospital in Lyon to inquire about ablathermy, which is the only way to retreat a prostate that has already been irradiated when localized recurrence has been diagnosed. This was the first time my physician had talked to me about ablathermy. All the testimonials that I read (about the Ablatherm®) HIFU emphasized its lifestyle benefits compared with other treatments, and make me regret not having been able to choose it as my first-line treatment.”
Michel (aged 62)
When, in 2007, my physician told me that I had stage 1 prostate cancer, he recommended surgery, whereas my wife's physician was totally against the idea of an operation, opting for monitoring only. He went on to explain that I had a choice between radiotherapy or a radical prostatectomy. At no point did he mention ablathermy. I therefore opted for surgery — a decision that I now regret. Nobody told me that I would need to use three or four incontinence pads every day.
After a six- or seven-week convalescence period I was able to take up cycling again, which helped stop the leaks, but I feel like I'm not the same man as before. I wish my urologist had told me about the Ablatherm®. I am now a member of a patients' association, and I hope the situation will change so that other people will be more fortunate than I was.