Could sound replace the scalpel?

A new ultrasound device to help manage pain.

Our Philips HIFU ultrasound technique sidesteps invasive surgery and helps cancer patients manage debilitating pain. It’s not just the powerful impact on people, though – the device also transforms the way hospitals can provide care for their most vulnerable patients.

For many cancer patients, pain management is a very important issue and one which often requires expensive and long-term doses of pharmaceuticals – which can sometimes lead to more debilitating side effects. Once cancer gets into the bones (bone metastases) the pain disrupts everything, from even taking a short walk to sleeping, and improving the quality of care for the patient becomes a main focus.

I think it is very important that in addition to cure, we also focus on care so by managing their pain you restore the patients' quality of life."


Dr. Merel Huisman

Department of Radiology, UMC Utrecht

A unique new Philips innovation at a teaching hospital in Utrecht in the Netherlands, called high-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU, allows damaging cancerous cells to be removed without any need for a surgical scalpel. That means patients are up and around immediately after treatment. It’s the kind of non-invasive procedure that is heralding a new age of healthcare, in which treatments for disease – not just cancers – become easier for the medic to conduct. This innovation could provide enormous personal benefit to individual patients and also transform the way governments and key stakeholders manage their budgets.

In 2012, the most common cause of cancer death was cancer of the liver?

False. Lung cancer was responsible for 1.59 million deaths while liver caused 745 000 deaths. Citation: World Health Organization

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