Prostate Cancer


How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

The following tests may be used to help detect prostate cancer early:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE): a physical examination of the prostate gland through the rectum. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: a blood test that measures PSA, a substance made by the prostate. The normal level of PSA changes as you get older. Higher levels of PSA can be caused by several prostate problems, not just cancer. Sometimes men with prostate cancer have PSA levels that are not higher than normal.
  • PCA3 Test: a urine test using a genetic marker that detects the prostate cancer gene 3 (PCA3), which is involved in the development of prostate cancer. For more information on this test, click here.

If a problem is found with any of these tests, more tests will be done to find out whether you have prostate cancer or another health problem. Further tests may include:

  • Follow-up PSA test
  • Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS): a test that uses sound waves to make a picture of the rectum and nearby organs, including the prostate
  • Biopsy of the prostate: tissue samples (6 to 24) removed from the prostate, using 16-18 gauge needles, to be examined under a microscope for pathology analysis