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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 20:02 GMT 21:02 UK
New treatment for prostate cancer
Consultant urologist Manu Nair
Consultant urologist Manu Nair is pioneering the treatment
Prostate cancer sufferers are being offered an improved treatment which is being pioneered in the West Midlands.

The procedure does not require surgery, meaning patients can return home within hours and has fewer side effects than traditional radiotherapy.

A Solihull doctor is the first to offer the ultrasound treatment in the region and is claiming "excellent results".

It is hoped the process could also be used to patients suffering from other forms of the disease.

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) uses heat to destroy cancer cells.

'Excellent results'

A probe inserted in to the patient specifically targets the tumour and then ultrasound waves are used to heat up and kill the cancerous cells.

Manu Nair, a consultant urologist at BUPA Parkway Hospital in Solihull and Birmingham's Heartland and Solihull Hospitals, is the first in the West Midlands to offer the treatment.

So far only three people in the region have gone through the process though about 100 patients nationally have been treated with some London hospitals offering the procedure.

The treatment, which has been fully approved, is yet to be made available on the NHS.

"The new procedure is giving excellent results," said Mr Nair.

PROSTATE CANCER FACTS
27,000 men are diagnosed each year
10,000 die each year
Most common male cancer

"The side effects are much less than using radiotherapy, which is commonly used for the condition, and it can be repeated as much as required which also isn't possible with radiotherapy.

"With no need for surgery it means the procedure is far more manageable for patients and they are back to normal in a few days."

Paul Witheridge, 54, from Great Barr, Sandwell, has been successfully treated using HIFU after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in January.

"The treatment was amazing really, I was out of hospital the following day and back to work in three weeks," said the clothing trade manager.

"I thought it was going to be painful but it wasn't at all, it's been very quick and easy."

Mr Nair said the procedure may now also be used to treat kidney cancer and other forms of the disease.


SEE ALSO
Prostate cancer op delay 'safe'
04 Mar 06 |  Health

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