A pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
that doesn't go away.
Shortness of breath, feeling very tired, fast heartbeat, dizziness, or pale skin caused by anemia.
Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the
urethra or bladder. This may cause trouble urinating or sexual problems. The condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia
(BPH), and although
it is not cancer, surgery
needed. The symptoms
of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be
like symptoms of prostate cancer.
Tests that examine the prostate and blood are used to
detect (find) and diagnose prostate cancer.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
(DRE): An exam of the rectum. The doctor or nurse
inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall for lumps or abnormal
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: A test that measures the level of PSA
in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer. PSA levels may also be high in men who have an infection
of the prostate or BPH (an enlarged, but noncancerous, prostate).
ultrasound: A procedure in which a probe
that is about the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum to check the prostate. The probe is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues
or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. Transrectal ultrasound may be used during a biopsy
Transrectal magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI): A procedure that uses a strong magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. A probe that gives off radio waves is inserted into the rectum near the prostate. This helps the MRI machine make clearer pictures of the prostate and nearby tissue. A transrectal MRI is done to find out if the cancer has spread outside the prostate into nearby tissues. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
Biopsy: The removal of cells
or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope
by a pathologist. The pathologist will
check the tissue sample to see if there are cancer cells and find out the Gleason score. The Gleason score
ranges from 2-10 and describes how likely it is that a tumor
will spread. The lower the
number, the less likely the tumor is to spread.
A transrectal biopsy
is used to
diagnose prostate cancer. A transrectal biopsy is the removal of tissue from the prostate by inserting a thin needle through the rectum and into the prostate. This procedure is usually done using transrectal ultrasound to help guide where samples of tissue are taken from. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.