Prostate Problems - Diagnosis

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How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

At the start, prostate cancer does not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, you may have trouble urinating. Some men need to urinate often, especially at night. Others have pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis, and painful ejaculation.

To find out if these symptoms are caused by prostate cancer, your doctor will ask about your past medical problems and your family's medical history. He or she will perform a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will put a gloved finger into your rectum to feel your prostate for hard or lumpy areas.

Your doctor may also do a blood test to check the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. PSA levels can be high in men with an enlarged prostate gland or with prostate cancer. You may also need an ultrasound exam that takes computer pictures of the prostate.

If tests show that you might have cancer, your doctor will want to confirm this with a biopsy. He or she will take out tiny pieces of the prostate to look for cancer cells. Your doctor may want to do a biopsy again to re-check the results.

Return to Prostate Problem Warning Signs

See what others are saying

Comment from: JAR, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 30

About 1 month ago I started to have an excited prostate. I could not go at a urinal. I seemed to pass a stone, there was blood in urine. In the last sample there was no blood. Taking Flomax now. Evenings, pressure starts, sometimes cannot go for hours, sometimes a dribble. During most days flow is great and no pain. I have no fever and no back pain. Only new medicines are vitamin D-3 and AREDS for eyes. Can"t see a doctor for at least 4 days.

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