Traditionally, men with localized prostate cancer – meaning it has not spread outside the prostate gland – who do not opt for active surveillance are treated with surgery or radiation therapy. These approaches remove or radiate the prostate gland and can potentially damage nerves and urinary and bowel passages. As a result, they are often associated with side effects that impact sexual, urinary, and bowel function.
Focal therapy uses advanced imaging, such as ultrasound and MRI, to target the exact location of the tumor and minimize the impact of treatment on the surrounding, healthy prostate tissue and structures. As a result, it is less likely to cause erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and bowel problems.
Because focal therapy does not treat the entire prostate, there is an increased risk that cancer may be left behind or may return. For this reason, regular follow-up appointments are required to monitor for cancer recurrence. If a tumor appears again, repeat focal therapy or another option may be recommended to treat the prostate cancer.