A prostate biopsy is a type of test. Your doctor takes small tissue samples from your prostate gland. Then another doctor looks at the tissue under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells.
This test is done by a doctor who specializes in men's genital and urinary problems (urologist). It can be done in your doctor's office, a day surgery clinic, or a hospital operating room. To get the tissue samples from the prostate, the doctor inserts a thin needle through the rectum, the urethra, or the area between the anus and scrotum (perineum). The most common method is through the rectum. Your doctor may use ultrasound to help guide the needle.
You may need a prostate biopsy if your doctor found something of concern during a digital rectal examination. Or you may need it if a blood test showed a high level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A biopsy can help find out if you have prostate cancer.
Before you have a prostate biopsy, tell your doctor if:
Your doctor will tell you what to expect and watch for after your test. In general:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Avery L. Seifert, MD, FACS - Urology & Howard B. Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
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