In order to diagnose the problem your doctor will perform a number of tests. The most common three performed are:
A digital rectal examination (DRE) is an examination of your prostate. Your doctor will insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum and feel your prostate through the wall of your rectum. If there is prostate cancer, it may feel harder than usual.
A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test will test the amount of PSA in a sample of your blood. PSA is a protein which is made by both normal and cancerous prostate cells. A high PSA level doesn't always indicate cancer and can be caused by other prostate diseases.
It is now common to carry out an MRI scan prior to a prostate biopsy. In a prostate biopsy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of tissue. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination to find out if it's cancer and if so, how fast it's growing. CT, MRI and bone scans can help your surgeon see how far the cancer has spread.
Early diagnosis is crucial in order to provide the best possible treatment in the quickest time. The quicker that cancer is detected the quicker something can be done to help prevent cancer spreading. As soon as you spot a symptom go to your doctor whether you have cancer or not can be determined in a short, painless number of tests that could possibly save your life. Don't wait. Don't push it to the back of your mind. Get it checked, it's better to be safe than sorry.
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