High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): A Few Ways To Receive This Non-Invasive Cancer Treatment

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Advances are being made in medicine at astounding rates. Unfortunately, new treatments and medications have to go through a long and arduous testing process before they can be approved for use in the United States. HIFU is a cancer treatment that is being used in Europe, Canada, Australia and many other countries, however, it is only available in clinical trial is the U.S. Luckily, if your type of cancer could be eliminated with this treatment, there are still ways you can receive it without breaking the law.

Cancers that Can Be Treated with HIFU

HIFU is used to treat a very specific area, and can only be used on a single tumor. Metastasized cancer will not benefit from this treatment. If you have a large tumor, HIFU can be used on part of it, but anything that is not killed will need to be treated conventionally. In addition, because the ultrasound waves do not pass through solid bone or air not all cancers are treatable with it. Here are the common cancers that may benefit from using HIFU:

  • Pancreatic
  • Some liver
  • Bladder
  • Prostate
  • Kidney

The cancer may not be completely removed or cured after having HIFU administered, but the symptoms may be relieved while you are undergoing other, more invasive treatments. It is also important to keep in mind that this treatment has not been used long enough to give any true long-term benefits.

Clinical Trials

The only way you can receive HIFU treatments in the U.S. is to become a participant in a clinical trial. These are being done for prostate cancer currently. Your oncologist should be able to help you find a testing center and see if you can become a participant.

American Doctors, Foreign Treatment Centers

There are some doctors who do offer HIFU treatments in foreign clinics. You will meet with the doctor and make all arrangements for an appointment at the clinic. There are doctors who can treat you at clinics in Nassau, Bahamas; Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Bermuda; and Montreal and Winnipeg, Canada.

Foreign Countries

International HIFU is available in many foreign countries. If you have the means to travel to UK, Japan, Australia or Europe you will not have trouble finding a treatment center. Of course, this means you will not be using your oncologist or a doctor you can then see back home if you are having a problem.

HIFU may be the next cancer treatment the FDA approves for the treatment of some cancers, or it may take years before it is available to the public. However, if you are interested, there are ways to try it. Keep in mind, however, that your insurance is not going to pay for it. Unless you get involved in a trial, you will have to pay all your travel expenses as well as for the treatment. Of course, if it is effective for you, it will be worth the money.