Most of us associate ultrasounds with diagnostic purposes. Think of those first images of a developing fetus or pictures of internal organs, which allow doctors or surgeons to determine a course of action. But ultrasound waves—when focused at high-intensity levels—can actually be a form of cancer treatment.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy—which originated in Europe, South America, Mexico and Canada—is gaining acceptance in the United States as a treatment for prostate cancer and other diseases. The procedure is noninvasive, has minimal recovery time and carries minimal risks. Above all, it can eradicate cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue. While HIFU is not right for everyone, it could be the right prostate cancer treatment for you.

What is HIFU?

During an HIFU procedure, ultrasonic energy is used to focus ultrasonic waves to increase heat and destroy an area of