But 25 Grand out of pocket to skirt the laws of the US and go to another country for a treatment modality that has had mixed results, with centers in the UK and Sweden dropping the program, and then also be totally exempt to malpractice recourse sounds ~ pretty risky to me. If HIFU is approved here, the insurance carriers will pick it up. There is no need to jump the gun. Current study results, studies not done by HIFU manufacturers, are only showing only 75% MTBF at year 5. Far below surgery and radiation which are both far better at year 5 in localized cancer. Some of this may be attributed to physician experience, but that's another problem with something new.
Again your stats are not true. 170K does not accurately reflect costs you are statingfor radiation and HT unless it is Proton therapy. Seeing that your friend had a job at the time I assume he had access to group insurance as well. Thus he didn't pay the bill, except the deductables/copays until he lost that job. In addition, HIFU does not do anything more than treat locally. If a patient is predestined for hormone therapy, HIFU won't change that. Your suggestion that HIFU will prevent systemic treatment when needed suggests a vested interest. I have had surgery/HT/IMRT and it did not cost 170K after two years. And I don't have mood outbursts, I have plenty of energy, I have a great job, and my med costs are covered by insurance.
HT (2 Years)..21K
These were my costs to treat ADVANCED prostate cancer to date. I was not a HIFU candidate and I required systemic treatment out of the gate after surgery.
My recomendation, which amounts to little, if you are considering HIFU you need to get more accurate information than the web is being spammed with. As with any experimental treatment ~ the risks are yours and yours alone. That stated, I applaud those willing to take risks to advance our treatment options. But do so in qualified studies and don't take these things into your own hands...
I don't mean to dispell anything but overstatements that were made. These overstatements indicate a vested interest which are a violation of site rules.
Age 47 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8 : Surgery at The City of Hope on February 16, 2007
Geason 4+3=7, Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
Positive Margins (PM), Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE) : Bilateral Seminal vesicle invasion (SVI)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg (2 Year ADT)
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (May 11, 2009): <0.1