FROM this month, a select group of men suffering from prostate cancer can address the matter in a less invasive manner.
The Focal-One is a French device that has been brought into Singapore by the PanAsia Surgery Group. It is the world’s first machine dedicated to the treatment of localised prostate cancer by using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU).
This non-invasive treatment allows for an outcome that is less likely to have the after effects of more conventional surgery — erectile dysfunction and urine incontinence.
This organ-sparing therapy is performed under general anaesthsia but is considered day surgery. Conventional procedures would require a stay in hospital of around four days.
The Focal-One device is a robotic-assisted machine that uses the latest technology for precise treatment of specific prostate tissues without damaging non-target areas.
The first procedure in Singapore takes place this month at Farrer Park Hospital.
The procedure is expected to cost in the region of $30,000. Insurance and other administrative processes are being discussed.
Prostate cancer patients who are suitable for focal therapy include newly diagnosed patients with prostate cancer that is localised within the prostate gland, or patients with prostate cancer that recurred after previous radiotherapy.
Prostate cancer is the third-most common cancer affecting Singapore men.