Health Check: New prostate cancer treatment

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Doctors hope a new form of treatment for the commonest cancer in men will reduce the risk of harmful side effects caused by current treatments.

The prostate gland's main job is to make a fluid called semen, which carries the sperm. The gland can get bigger with age and may press on the urethra - or "water pipe" - causing problems with passing urine.

If a cancer develops surgeons can remove the whole prostate gland or use radiotherapy to shrink the tumour. But both types of treatment carry a risk of side effects like impotence or incontinence.

Doctors at University College Hospital in London hope High Frequency Ultrasound treatment - where a probe is used to visualise and treat the tumour - will reduce these risks by targeting the tumour itself.

Nigel Paveley - who's in his 50s - noticed that he was getting up more at night to pass urine and tests revealed he had prostate cancer. Now he's had the HIFU treatment, he's back at work and feeling good about his future.

HIFU - Prostate Cancer Treatment - High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

University College Hospitals: Prof Mark Emberton

The Prostate Cancer Charity

BBC World Service - Science - Health Check

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