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Dad on road to recovery after ultrasound therapy for prostate cancer

June is Men's Health Month. A father talks about his battle with prostate cancer and why he chose a relatively new procedure called HIFU as part of his treatment.
Credit: Cleveland Clinic

Jeff Cardinal was diagnosed with prostate cancer three and a half years ago. He said he felt completely fine at the time, but the blood work from his routine physical would tell a different story.

“The blood work showed that my PSA numbers were a little high, so they gave me an MRI and then did a biopsy of my prostate,” Jeff recalled.

He said when he first found out, he wasn’t mad or scared but more so confused.

“I never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. No tobacco products. I don’t do drugs. I watch my weight. Everybody knows I’m disciplined. I live a healthy life,” said Jeff.

After his diagnosis, doctors closely monitored the cancer. Then in January of this year, he decided to try a relatively new procedure at Cleveland Clinic. It’s called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).

“It works by creating a really high intensity focused beam of soundwaves and you can kind of think of it like a magnifying glass. If you shine the light of the magnifying glass from the sun onto one defined spot, it can get really hot in that spot. It’s a very similar concept to that,” explained Christopher Weight, MD, director of urologic oncology for Cleveland Clinic.

HIFU is non-invasive and has minimal side effects to compared to more traditional treatments, like radiation or surgery.

“It has the advantage over surgery of having no incisions. It has the advantage over radiation of having no ionizing radiation that penetrates or hits the other tissues. And so it really focuses on a really small area of the prostate that we can tell has the cancer,” said Dr. Weight.

Jeff said everything went well with the procedure and now he’s back to doing the things he loves.

He encourages others to make sure they are exploring all of their treatment options.

“If I can help people out there, give them a shortcut to a procedure that’s cutting edge, that works well, then I want to do that. And when I said that to my son he said, ‘Dad you’re paying it forward’ and I never thought of it that way, but that’s what I am doing,” said Jeff.

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