Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.
There is no single test for prostate cancer. All the tests used to help diagnose the condition have benefits and risks, which should be discussed with your doctor.
- Digital rectal examination: the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the prostate and check for lumps and changes in shape or texture that could indicate cancer in the prostate. Prostate cancer can make the gland hard and bumpy, as opposed to BPH which causes the gland to feel firm and smooth.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test: PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland and all men have a small amount in their blood, although this increases with age. A raised PSA may be a sign of early prostate cancer, however, PSA is not cancer specific, but prostate specific. This means that more than 65% of men with a raised PSA will not have prostate cancer.
- Transrectal ultrasound: an ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to show images of the prostate gland by using sound waves.
- Biopsy: if cancer is suspected, a small sample of prostate tissue is taken and analysed in a laboratory. If cancerous cells are found, they can be studied further to assess the stageand grade of the tumour to see how quickly it might spread. A biopsy is usually taken by transrectal ultrasound guidance (TRUS) or from a surgical specimen.
common cancer in men
1 NHS Choices website – Prostate cancer ; symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-prostate/Pages/Introduction.aspx Last accessed 18/07/2017
2 https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-symptoms Last accessed 28/12/2017
3 Prostate Cancer UK website – About prostate cancer
http://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer Last accessed 18/07/2017