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Diagnosis

 

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will examine you. They may carry out some of the following tests or refer you to a specialist (urologist) for them.

– A digital rectal examination (DRE). This 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, or knobbly.

– A PSA blood test will test the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in a sample of your blood. PSA is a chemical which is made by both normal and cancerous prostate cells. If you have an abnormally high level of PSA, prostate cancer is a possibility. However, a high PSA score does not always indicate cancer and can be caused by other prostate diseases.

– In a prostate biopsy, your doctor will surgically remove a small piece of tissue using a needle. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination to find out if it is a tumour and how fast it is growing.

– CT (computerised axial tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and bone scans can help your doctor see how far the cancer has spread (if at all). A bone scan involves injecting a small amount of radioactive liquid into your vein. This can show if the cancer has spread to the bone.