A promising new treatment for early prostate cancer may free men from worrying about the common side effects of impotence and incontinence associated with traditional treatments. A study of 41 men published in Lancet Oncology found a "perfect" outcome (no cancer, no side effects one year later) in nine out of 10 men, the Telegraph reports. Specifically, 95% were cancer-free one year out, none were incontinent, and just one in 10 was impotent. Using traditional treatments, either prostate removal surgery or radiotherapy, just half of cases result in a "perfect" outcome.
The new treatment uses a high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to heat and destroy the cancer cells while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue, the BBC explains. In addition to reducing side effects, it also means men should be able to be treated without having to remain in the hospital overnight. Large-scale trials of the HIFU treatment are expected begin soon.