Prostate Hyperthermia


Prostate diseases are common in men. In young age it is the inflammation of the prostate or prostatitis. Benign prostatic hyperplasia with increasing micturation problems make thousands of middleaged males life difficult and unpleasant. Prostatic cancer is increasing and becomes after lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer the number three. In Germany each year 40.000 men die of prostate cancer. The surgical methods which are used were not so successful, that one could be satisfied. Operative mortality, incontinence, impotence and long hospilitization were the worrying complications. Therefore, a search for new treatment. One of such new and very effective treatments is the transurethral hyperthermia. As far back as 5 B.C, Greeks have used heat to treat patients with incurable diseases. The term 'Hyperthermia' also originates from the greek language. The prefix 'Hyper' means 'excess' or 'higher' and the word 'thermia' means 'heat', thus hyperthermia is also known as 'excess heat treatment'. Body tissue is heated - for instance only the prostate - in a controlled way to above that of the normal body temperature either directly or as in the case of systemic whole body hyperthermia, the entire body. The application of excess heat to cancerous tissue forces malignant cells to die. Therefore hyperthermia is used widely in oncology. Hyperthermia has been used in oncology for at least 15 years either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or radiation treatment. It is acknowledged that hyperthermia is an effective and complementary method of treatment to traditional medical methods.

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Prostate Hyperthermia

St. Georg Hospital, Bad Aibling, is one of the most experienced and distinctive centers for hyperthermia treatment of the prostate especially non-malignant enlargement of the prostate and inflammation of the prostate and prostate cancer. St. Georg Hospital is the first hyperthermia center in Germany to offer this particularly mild and gentle transurethral (passed through the urethra) hyperthermia.

What are the classical symptoms of prostate disorders?

For many men, prostate disorders are considered a taboo subject. Many prefer to suffer in silence, rather than to discuss their problems with their doctor. It is precisely the early treatment of benign prostate enlargement that is important to prevent a subsequent extremely risky and painful operation or to avoid even cancer. Modern medicine has researched this problem and today, new types of treatment, for example hyperthermia can be offered, which in turn depletes these old fears. Benign prostate enlargement affects more than 80% of all men over the age of 60. From this age onwards, prostate symptoms and disturbed micturiation increases. It should be noted that from as early as 40 years, the normally chestnut sized prostate can start to become enlarged. Usual symptoms of a prostate disorder are; excruciating urge to urinate, difficulties in micturation, urinary stream as thin as a piece of string, discomfort above the bladder. Nocturia, large quantities of residual urine and urine retention are particularly dangerous, as they can lead to kidney congestion and uriemia. The risk of cancer increases with age.

What methods of treatment are normally used?

In the first instance, prostate disorders are frequently treated with naturopathic plant extracts. Unfortunately, relief is normally short-lived and the cause is not decisively removed. Finally, the prostate has to be surgically treated an a hospital stay of between 8-12 days can be expected. According to conventional operating methods, the tumorous tissue is cut away with an electric wire loop (transurethral prostatectomy; TUR-P) or alternatively surgical removal in total. In both instances, the mortality rate is between 1-2.5% dependant upon age and the operation. Moreover, complications, for example, bleeding, infections, incontinence, impotence and retrograde ejaculation cannot be ruled out and occurs quite often. Especially incontinence and impotence have a very negative influence on life quality. In an attempt to avoid the numerous risks involved in surgery, medical researchers have been busy researching alternative methods of treatment. One of the most successful forms of alternative treatment is hyperthermia. For prostate cancer this thermal therapy which when combined with either chemotherapy or radiation therapy is more effective. For prostate hyperplasia the combination of hyperthermia with alpha-1-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can be very successful. Temperatures achieved in this treatment range between 45-70°C (113°-158°F).

How does prostate hyperthermia work?

In prostatitis the heat kills off the bacterias and, like in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) leads to a relaxation and regeneration of the prostate tissue. This leads immediately to a relief of obstructive and irritative symptoms and to a normalization of the micturition. In prostate cancer the transurethral hyperthermia has, in addition to the normalization of the micturition, the effect that it kills the cancerous tissue in the gland. The blood supply of cancerous cells are organized differently to that of healthy cells and are also more heat sensitive. Hyperthermia treatment interrupts the supply of circulation to the cancerous cells forcing them to either die or preventing them from dividing further. In the transurethral hyperthermia, a probe is introduced through the urethra into the enlarged prostate and using short waves is heated to between 45-70°C (113°-158°F). Using this principle, the function of the prostate is changed allowing urine to flow more readily again. After one or two treatment sessions, each lasting between60-180 minutes, examination results improve dramatically. Even in patients with prostate cancer, where the disease is considered inoperable, results show that a significant improvement can be achieved. Transurethral prostate hyperthermia is not a surgical procedure rather a much gentler alternative method of treatment. Advantages of this form of treatment are:

  • no operation with high risk factors
  • no anaesthetic
  • no post-operative complications
  • less financial & emotional stress

How is prostate hyperthermia specifically carried out in St. Georg Hospital?

Upon admission into the hyperthermia center, stringent preparatory examinations are carried out:

  • thorough physical examination
  • extensive consultation to deplete fears etc.
  • measurement of urinary stream
  • ultrasonic test to measure the size of the prostate enlargement
  • computed tomography where applicable

During treatment, the patients sits in a comfortable upholstered chair and is able to read or watch satellite television. Transurethral hyperthermia is carried out using the most upto date equipment. This computer controlled equipment constantly monitors the temperature and voltage throughout the procedure and a printer precisely plots and documents each phase of the treatment.

General Information
Basic Therapies

Local Regional Hyperthermia
Prostate Hyperthermia
Interstitial High Frequency Thermotherapy (HFTT)
Systematic Whole Body Hyperthermia (SWBH)
Electro-Chemical Cancer Treatment (ECT)

Balneo-Physical Department
Psychotherapy and Art Therapy
Klinik St. Georg
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Medi-Therm Kliniken GmbH & Co. KG
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Center for Natural Healing Methods and Functional Medicine
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