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Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer
The diagnosis of prostate cancer usually begins in your doctor’s office during a routine rectal exam followed by a blood test to measure prostate specific antigen (PSA). If your rectal exam shows abnormal changes or your PSA test is elevated, your doctor will need to do further testing to determine if you have cancer, benign prostatic hypertrophy, an infection, or some other condition.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including information about possible risk factors related to prostate cancer, and do a physical exam. Your doctor will also do testing to determine the nature of the abnormal cell growth of the prostate.
Tests may include the following:
If cancer is found in the biopsy sample, prognosis and treatment will primarily depend on:
Staging is a careful attempt to determine the extent and seriousness of the cancer by taking into account the following factors:
In addition to a physical exam, tests used to stage prostate cancer include:
The TNM staging system is often used to classify cancer of the prostate. The Gleason score is often combined with the TNM system to predict the likelihood of survival over the next five years with treatment. The higher the numbers the worse the prognosis.
Detailed guide: prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ . Accessed October 9, 2008.
Prostate cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/prostate . Accessed October 9, 2008.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
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