Another example of profits coming before people in the medical establishment. (Note that prostate and breast cancers have many similarities, so women may want to read this for themselves as well as for the men in their lives.)
Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an editorial advising doctors to be cautious about using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat prostate cancer. The authors claim that there is no definitive evidence of safety and efficacy for HIFU.
This is nonsense. HIFU has been approved and used in Europe and Japan for over a decade. It has been studied and studied. The likely real reason for opposition from the medical establishment is that doctors are making billions from the earlier treatments and do not want to give up the income after years of training, despite the horrific side effects of impotence and incontinence that come with them.
HIFU is non-invasive and thus does not usually produce the side effects. One week after receiving HIFU, an ANH-USA board member was jogging again, with no ill effects, as described in an earlier article. Full surgery is still needed if the cancer has advanced far enough, but with regular PSA testing (which is, oddly, no longer recommended by the medical establishment!) and today’s advanced prostate MRI techniques, there is no reason for prostate cancer not to be detected early.
If your doctor suspects cancer somewhere in your prostate, will you get an MRI by an expert? Not likely. Instead you will be told to have a blind biopsy, which involves sticking a variety of needles into the prostate from the rectum and taking a sample from each needle. Unless the doctor has located a particular lesion, the location of the needles is completely random, and will miss many cancers. The procedure is painful, leads to unnecessary infection, and could even spread existing cancers. Blind biopsies are obsolete and should relegated to the dustbin of medical history.
Note that an editorial from a prestigious medical journal—one that raises specious questions about HIFU—strengthens the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage for the procedure, meaning that HIFU will be out of reach for most men. Lack of coverage also means that doctors are not being widely trained in the technique—the procedure requires very extensive physician training. It is clearly not safe for an untrained physician to be doing it.