Calls for Early Prostate Cancer Screening of Black Men May Get a Boost from HIFU Technology

African American men who delay testing or treatment for prostate cancer run greater risks with their health than other males — because they are roughly 1.6 times more likely to develop the disease than white men, and also more than twice as likely to die from it as white men.

In those explorations, I ultimately discovered a medical procedure called HIFU, which is shorthand for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. Essentially, with HIFU, the doctor directs high-frequency sound waves to heat up and burn off diseased tissue in the prostate using an ultrasound probe. As I found in my research, this approach has been shown to result in reduced side effects like impotence and incontinence, according to some studies in Europe and elsewhere in the world.

In light of those statistics, a recent study in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that black men be screened for prostate cancer more often and at a younger age. The study is significant because it challenges the conventional wisdom that early screening of typically slow-growing prostate cancer can lead to over-treatment.

The recommendations of the ACS study may get a needed boost from a relatively new ultrasound procedure known as HIFU.