Unfortunately, there are times when a man is treated for prostate cancer but later learns that his prostate cancer has returned. When prostate cancer comes back after initial treatment it is called, recurrent prostate cancer.
When prostate cancer is caught early, the rates of the cancer coming back are low, but for high-risk prostate cancer especially, the Prostate Cancer Foundation reports that recurrence can occur in 30-90% of men.
Typically men and their physicians monitor their PSA every three months after initial treatment. If they detect a steady rise in PSA over time, the physician may recommend a biopsy, or other tests, to confirm whether or not the cancer has returned.
Depending on what kind of initial treatment a man has had, his options for treating recurrent prostate cancer may be limited. For example, if a man had radiation therapy, he may not be eligible for additional radiation and the tissue in the area may be too compromised by the initial radiation to permit effective surgery.
One of the biggest benefits of HIFU for prostate cancer is that it can be used as a salvage therapy for recurrent prostate cancer as long as it is still localized to the prostate cancer. It is less risky than other treatment options because HIFU uses a clean energy source (no radiation). Sound waves can easily pass through tissue without causing damage to surrounding tissue with non-invasive HIFU treatment.
Patients who have recurrent prostate cancer, should talk with their physician about all their options and ask if HIFU is an option for them in order to fully understand the benefits and risks of salvage HIFU therapy before considering it as a treatment option.