High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment for prostate cancer

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SARASOTA – High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) allows Dr. Stephen Scionti to put focused sound energy into a prostate and destroy cancerous tissue.

“We can use MRI guidance; that’s a MRI married to an ultrasound image to target as much or as little of the prostate as might be necessary,” Scionti said.

HIFU started in Europe in 1995, but Scionti says the technology has dramatically changed.

He’s been performing the procedure since 2006.

“..and over the last 13 years or so have performed well over 1,000 HIFU procedures,” Scionti said. “In Sarasota there’s one of the largest experiences in the United States.”

He calls the non-radical treatment a perfect middle ground.

“Men really don’t wanna give up their quality of life, and unfortunately, many of our traditional treatments are associated with very significant side effects that affect quality of life,” Scionti said.

HIFU is radiation-free and done on an outpatient basis.

“Men go home the same day after treatment,” Scionti said.

But it is for a certain type of prostate cancer patient.

“..men who have an early, contained, confined prostate cancer, and ideally a cancer that occupies only one region, one neighborhood of the prostate,” Scionti said.

Scionti’s advice to men diagnosed with prostate cancer is to know their options.

“Not every man requires radical treatment, not every man requires a prostatectomy,” Scionti said. “Some men can really benefit from a targeted approach that preserves their quality of life.”

Scionti says men ages 50-70 should be getting prostate screenings every one to two years.

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Hallie Peilet
Hallie Peilet is an Indiana University graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in music. She has had experience in several media outlets. Previously, she interned for WCIU-TV in Chicago, learning about production and live reporting. During her senior year at IU, she worked as a reporter and anchor for her campus news station, and as a multimedia journalist for WTIU/WFIU, the PBS/NPR affiliate in Bloomington. She grew up just outside of Chicago in Munster, Indiana, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new music, and watching Chicago sports. If you have an idea for a story, e-mail her at hallie.peilet@snntv.com.