Getting to know your doctor is a great way to feel more comfortable aboutmaking treatment decisions. The preview of an interview below with Dr. John Jurige will give insights into why he became a doctor and how he sees HIFU fitting into the overall prostate cancer treatment landscape. You can read the complete interview here.
When did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?
I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a doctor. I love science, especially biology, and I wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people.
How did you decide on your particular specialty? Why urology?
My Dad was a urologist and I saw that he enjoyed it. Also, it seemed to me that urology offered the blend of performing procedures that employed a lot of innovative technology with management of more chronic patient problems. I like that mix.
What is your favorite part about being a physician?
There is nothing better than a good outcome. I get very involved emotionally with patients and I try to have empathy at all times. So when a treatment plan works out well, that’s very rewarding.
When did you first learn about HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
I first learned about HIFU ten years ago, but didn’t act on it until a year or so later. I went to Nassau to observe and ask questions.
Why did you initially become interested in HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
I had a very nice patient who was acquainted with HIFU through his own research. He was my first patient. He is now 9 years out from treatment and he’s doing wonderfully. I had extensive experience with prostatectomy and all of the radiation options. I came to the conclusion that many prostate cancers could be managed successfully without the side effects of the other treatments. HIFU fit the bill perfectly. The technology is so elegant and precise. That was really appealing.
In your professional opinion, what are the benefits of HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
For early to intermediate risk cancer, I have come to believe that HIFU therapy is equal to radical surgery in terms of cancer control. And it offers a much more favorable side effect profile. Primarily, minimal to no incontinence risks, and a minimal impact on erectile function.
There are obviously a lot of different treatments for prostate cancer; where do you think HIFU best fits in the prostate cancer landscape?
In addition to what I have mentioned, HIFU can be used focally in selected patients. This is the next advance in prostate cancer care and no technology is better suited than HIFU.