Prostate Awareness 6: Getting The MRI and Other Results, May 10

Mr Jha greets me by saying the results look promising. The illness has been spotted at a relatively early stage, so there are several treatment options.

“Now you can ask me any questions you want,” he says.

The obvious path is Brachytherapy – the ‘seeding’ route. This involves implanting radioactive seeds in the prostate. The radiation is then emitted slowly over the course of many months.

I ask about HIFU. Here is an extract from a recent piece on the BBC about this treatment.

HIFU – Targeted treatment

Doctors at University College Hospital in London have carried out the first trial using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) aimed at small patches of cancer cells on the prostate.

Hashim Ahmed, a urological surgeon at the trust who led the study, says the results, 12 months after treatment, are very encouraging.

“We’ve shown in this study that focal therapy – by targeting the individual areas of cancer – can avoid the collateral damage. We’ve shown that nine in 10 men had no impotence and none of the men in the study had incontinence of urine.”

Mr Ahmed says the early evidence on cancer control is also very good. But he says this needs to be evaluated in much larger studies.

“This could offer a transformation of the way we treat prostate cancer. It could offer a cost-effective treatment for the NHS, and offer men with early prostate cancer an opportunity to treat their disease, but with very few side-effects.”

Mr Jha is happy to refer me to the people at University College Hospital. He is full of praise for their work. He suggests that I visit the experts and then make a decision.

As ever, Mr Jha is superb. Based on the tests, he says that I can take a bit of time to decide. Not forever, but certainly weeks, stretching into months. So now we have a plan.

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