Texas Health Dallas Urologist One of First in U.S. to Use New Minimally Invasive Prostate Cancer Treatment
ARLINGTON, Texas — Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men behind lung cancer, with the federal Centers for Disease Control estimating that approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease. Until now, patients faced with this common cancer had to choose from treatment options that would likely cure their cancer, but cause long-lasting and life changing after-effects.
Dr. James Cochran, urologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas, is the first in Texas and one of only a handful in the whole country to use high-intensity frequency ultrasound (HIFU), a minimally-invasive outpatient prostate cancer treatment that does not affect tissue surrounding the prostate, preserving patient quality of life.
HIFU uses focused sound waves to create heat, destroying cancerous tissue in a matter of seconds with a lower risk of incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Patients are discharged the same day of the procedure, which requires no cutting or blood loss.
Russ Rosenquist, an electrical engineer and Plano resident first met Cochran 19 years ago, when he was only 38 and accompanied a family member, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 69, to an appointment.
“I’ll never forget Dr. Cochran pointing at me and saying, ‘I’m going to start seeing you in two years,’” Rosenquist said. “At the time I didn’t give it much thought. I was young, healthy and active, and cancer was the last thing on my mind. But, two years later I started getting screened.”
Men with a family history of prostate cancer, like Rosenquist had, are nearly four times as likely to develop the disease.
Russ Rosenquist, pictured with his wife Dawn, chose HIFU as his prostate cancer treatment.
Rosenquist was diagnosed with prostate cancer at only 50 years old, and was confronted with the same choices that thousands of men in the United States face every day. The most common types of treatment, prostatectomy and radiation therapy, have side effects that may include long-lasting incontinence and impotence. Studies show that radical prostatectomy, which is regularly used to treat young men with the disease, can produce a loss of erectile function in as high as 30 percent of patients and 10 percent of patients have some degree of long-term incontinence.
While weighing his options, Cochran introduced an alternative, HIFU, which had a lower chance of side effects than other treatments, but there was a catch: the treatment was not approved to be performed in the United States.
“Prostate cancer is usually a very curable cancer when diagnosed and treated early,” Cochran said.
“Most common treatment methods have good cure rates but surgery and radiation have considerable potential side effects and complications. Right now, HIFU is the leading edge treatment with the lowest rate of complications. It is also a non-invasive procedure that allows for maximum precision sparing the sensitive tissues around the prostate.”
Cochran had been traveling to surgery centers outside of the U.S. to perform the treatment on eligible patients, which ultimately Rosenquist decided to do. His wife of 30 years, Dawn, remembers the morning after the procedure, waking up in their hotel room in Cancun and watching the sunrise.
“Russ and I walked out to the hotel balcony and watched the most beautiful sunrise over the water that I had ever seen,” she said. “After all the stress of dealing with cancer and deciding to take a real leap of faith on HIFU, we both felt this overwhelming relief.”
The Rosenquists took a photo of that sunrise, and now six years later he is still healthy and without any long-lasting side effects.
For more information about HIFU and the treatment options available for prostate cancer, call 214-580-1391.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 25 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley Hospitals, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.
For more information about Texas Health Resources visit www.TexasHealth.org.