Patients would receive this treatment from a machine that gives off high frequency sound waves. These waves deliver a powerful beam to a specific part of a cancer which causes some cells to die when this high intensity ultrasound beam is focused directly onto them.
HIFU is only useful to treat a single tumour or part of a large tumour. It can’t be used to treat tumours that are more widespread. This means that HIFU is not suitable for people with cancer that has spread to more than one part of the body.
HIFU can be used to treat the following cancers:
Primary and secondary liver cancer
Side effects of HIFU
People who have been treated with HIFU have had very few side effects.
It may cause some discomfort or pain for three to four days after the treatment. It may also cause soreness in the skin or rectum depending on the area being treated, but this is mild and doesn’t last long. It’s unusual for the soreness to be severe or to persist
WATCH: University of Oxford – can sound waves be used to treat cancer?