Many thousands of men die yearly from prostate cancer worldwide, and specifically in America and in Israel.  The reason: Denial. Men shy away from the consequences of treatment, which can involve impotence and incontinence. While women mostly welcome an annual checkup for breast cancer,  men tend to do the opposite, avoiding the annual examination of their prostate. The result: premature death for thousands.  Golfer Tiger Woods’ father died needlessly of prostate cancer.

Now a new/old technology has come to the rescue: GPS. The same technology that triangulates your location by using globally positioned satellites has been applied to treating prostate cancer.

How does it work? Small radio transponders are inserted into the cancerous tumor inside the prostate. These small radio stations send out continual radio signals. The signals are received by receivers similar to those used in the GPS system. They triangulate and locate the tumor inside your prostate precisely,  ten times a second. That enables radiologists to bombard the tumor  with precisely-aimed radiation, that hits the target while avoiding surrounding tissue. In some ways, this is like laser-guided bombs that zero in on a ground-based laser beam and hit their target precisely. This minimizes damage to the key nerve that supports sexual function or to the sphincter, the muscle that controls urine flow. 

Often innovation involves transferring technology used in one industry to an entirely different use, to meet an entirely different need. The same GPS technology that can help you find your way in Ladakh, across the Himalayas, can now help doctors fry your prostate cancer without collateral damage.
   
This new device is now being used by about a hundred hospitals in the United States.

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