Tests for prostate cancer

You might have one or more of these tests to work out if you have prostate cancer. Some of these tests also help your doctor decide which treatment you need. 

Tests to check for prostate cancer

Find out about the tests you might have for prostate cancer and how to understand your results. 

What is the PSA test?

The PSA test is a blood test. Men with prostate cancer can have a raised level of PSA.

Examination of your prostate

An examination of your back passage (rectum) involves your doctor feeling inside your rectum using their finger. This is also called a digital rectal exam (DRE).

MRI and multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) scan

An MRI scan creates pictures using magnetism and radio waves. It can show up abnormal areas in the prostate gland.

Transrectal ultrasound scan (TRUS)

TRUS is an examination of the prostate gland using ultrasound. You might have a sample of tissue taken from the prostate gland (biopsy) at the same time. 

Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided biopsy

Your doctor might take a sample of tissue from your prostate gland to look for cancer cells. This can be done during a transrectal ultrasound.

Transperineal biopsy

Your doctor might take small samples of tissue from your prostate through the skin behind the testicles (perineum). This is to help diagnose prostate cancer. 

CT scan

CT scans take pictures of your body to find out where the cancer is and whether it has spread.

Bone scan for prostate cancer

A bone scan shows up changes or abnormalities in the bones. Doctors usually scan your whole body to find out if cancer has spread into the bone.

PET-CT scan

Find out what a PET- CT scan is, how you have it and when you might have it. 

Last reviewed: 
29 May 2019
Next review due: 
29 May 2022
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