A RETIRED scientist says his life has been transformed after receiving a revolutionary treatment for prostate cancer.
Barry Jones, 66, was the first person to receive the treatment, which does not require major surgery, at the Spire Yale private hospital in Wrexham.
The hospital’s consultant urological surgeon Iqbal Shergill is one of only a few specialists in the UK and the only one in Wales offering the breakthrough Prostate Mapping and High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) service.
Mr Jones, from Treuddyn, near Mold, had the treatment a year ago and has since been able to lead a perfectly normal life with just occasional checks to ensure the cancer has not returned.
He said: “The HIFU was also done under general anaesthetic and when I came round there was an obvious feeling that there didn’t seem to be any pain.
“I stayed in the hospital that night and remember watching television to make myself tired. It really hadn’t been a very tiring day.
“I stayed until after lunch and then went home, so everything was done within one day.
“I did have to have a catheter fitted but that was removed after just a few days.
“I’ve since had no pain, there is no scarring from surgery and no other side-effects.
I’ve been able to lead a completely normal life.”
Prostate cancer generally affects men over 50 and is the most common type of cancer in men.
In late 2011, Mr Jones had a routine blood test which showed he had a higher level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) than might be expected for someone his age.
Further tests carried out by Mr Shergill confirmed Barry did have localised prostate cancer.
Mr Jones said: “At that stage it seemed the likely way forward would be radical surgery to remove the prostate rather than radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
“After doing some research I concluded all the techniques bore risks of nerve damage, incontinence and reduced sex drive to some degree.”
It was then confirmed that Mr Jones was suitable for Prostate Mapping and HIFU treatment for his cancer and he was offered the chance of being the first to benefit from it at Spire Yale.
Mr Jones added: “I find myself feeling no different than I did several months before the whole journey began.”
Mr Shergill said: “It has gone very well for him and he will now have three blood tests a year and an annual MRI scan. If there is any doubt, there would be another biopsy done.”
Prostate Mapping and HIFU is a new concept in treatment for prostate cancer, which is currently the biggest killer of men between 50 and 60 in the UK.
About 37,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year. In 2010, there were more than 10,000 deaths from the disease.
HIFU is a non-surgical procedure that uses high frequency ultrasound energy to heat and destroy tissue with cancer in the prostate gland, without affecting healthy surrounding tissue.