Sample Package – Treatment in Belgium, Total price is $10,500
- Three days private hospital room.
- Doctor fees and consultation.
- Pathology report
- Technical examination and testing.
- High Intensity frequency Ultrasound treatment.
Please note Gateway Health International has treatment providers for both Ablatherm and Sonoblate 500 technology.
Our Sample package is based on treatment in Brussels, Belgium at one of Europe’s best Cancer hospitals. The Urology department has conducted numerous published studies on it’s HIFU treatment results and they are available for your review by contacting Gateway Health at firstname.lastname@example.org. The doctor performing the HIFU procedure also has over a decade of hands on experience treating prostate cancer with High intensity focused ultrasound technology. This treatment method can be used on the prostate as a whole or as a focal treatment (only on one area of the prostate) unlike radiation or a radical prostatectomy. Gateway Health can also provides access to 24 hours a day to nursing care, post procedure, should it be needed.
We commonly associate new and innovative health care techniques with being expensive. However, the Belgian hospital is able to offer substantially less expensive HIFU treatment because the treatment has been available in Europe for over a decade. Due to the volume of the patients treated and the lengthened amortization period of the equipment, patients can receive treatment while saving tens of thousands of dollars. Also, the medical staff has more experience and technical skill as a result having performed HIFU treatments for over a decade.
What is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound or Focal HIFU?
HIFU is a procedure where the temperature inside the prostate is raised to 85 degrees Celsius using a focused ultrasound beam.
After spinal anesthesia with intravenous sedation the physician places a probe into the rectum. This probe emits a beam of high intensity focused ultrasound. At the point where the ultrasound is focused (focal point) the sudden and intense absorption of the ultrasound beam quickly raises the temperature which destroys targeted cells.
The area destroyed by each beam is very small and precise. By repeating the process and moving the focal point it is possible to destroy the prostate tissue. The treatment takes from 2 to 2 1/2 hours depending upon the size of the prostate and is performed on an outpatient basis.
An independent European study of 402 patients with localized prostate cancer that were treated with HIFU resulted in 87.2% of patients having no cancer found in their biopsies and normal PSA levels in 81.4% of treated patients.
Another study showed that 86% of HIFU treated patients had no cancer found in their biopsy tests 9 years after treatment.
The longest clinical results for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound using Ablatherm were published May 20th 2013 and can be found here:
View the 2012 published data from the largest North American clinical study on HIFU for prostate cancer Article
Clients with localized prostate cancer
Clients that have had radiation in the past and your cancer has now returned
The treatment itself is not painful as it is carried out under local anesthetic (epidural) or sometimes general anesthetic.
Pain at the end of the treatment is rare, although most patients feel a slight discomfort which disappears after a few days. The procedure is minimally invasive so there are no wounds and patients do not experience the burning sensation often associated with radiotherapy. Unlike radiation HIFU treatment can be repeated if necessary and will not prevent radiation treatment or a radical prostatectomy in the future because it does not damage the surrounding tissue, like radiation.
Most patients can go back to eating normal food the evening after treatment and are discharged from hospital the next day. The urinary catheter is generally removed three or four days later. Medication may be prescribed for the following eight weeks to prevent any infection of the urethra or bladder.
In the period after treatment you may experience some discomfort including mild bleeding at the start of urination, frequent and sometimes urgent urination, urine leakage during physical exertion or coughing and sometimes the elimination of dead cancer cells in the urine. Infections with fever are rare but possible and require antibiotics.
These side effects disappear in the weeks following the treatment.
Usually PSA levels are checked every three months and a biopsy is undertaken six months after treatment. If cancer cells remain (10 to 15% of cases) a second High Intensity Focused Ultrasound treatment is likely to be given six months after the first treatment.
Trials of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound treatment have found few side effects. The healthy surrounding cells are not destroyed along with the cancerous cells and the procedure is minimally-invasive (does not involve an incision through the skin). This means only a short hospital stay is required and you will be able to return to normal activity after only a few days. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound patients do not experience a burning sensation associated with radiotherapy.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound treatment can be given to patients whose cancer has returned after radiotherapy, although some patients are not suitable (about 5% cases) due to abnormal thickening of the rectal wall or because the cancer has spread.
Results for this type of treatment are consistent with other options such as cryotherapy or surgery (Radical Prostatectomy). In a study conducted at Edouard Herriot Hospital in France no cancer was found in biopsy tests for 73% of patients and the cancer was controlled in 50% of cases.
The risk of incontinence is higher and the recovery time longer compared to patients undergoing HIFU treatment as a first option.
HIFU treatment is currently not available in the US although it is in stage 3 clinical trials with the FDA. HIFU treatment has received regulatory clearance in Europe, Canada, Australia and else where.