If your doctor suspects you’re at risk for prostate cancer, they might recommend a biopsy to confirm it. However, biopsies can be invasive and painful so it’s understandable when some people are hesitant to have them. That’s why it’s good to know that there are tests that can determine whether or not you really need to have a biopsy to determine if you have prostate cancer.
The Three Tests You Should Talk To Your Doctor About
1. A Transrectal Ultrasound
A transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is a procedure that produces images of the prostate and surrounding area. It’s not painful but can be uncomfortable since it entails placing a small probe in the rectum.
In approximately 10 minutes, the sound waves that are used will generate the image on a computer screen. While the TRUS won’t confirm if you have prostate cancer, it can identify abnormal areas.
If your doctor has any concerns about the results, they’ll either suggest one of the other tests on this list or move straight to a biopsy.
2. An MRI Scan
MRI scans are another kind of imaging procedure but they can provide a more detailed picture than a TRUS. You would also see a larger section of the body if your doctor is concerned about the surrounding areas.
There are three types of scans that can be used.
Diffusion-weighted imaging deals with how the prostate absorbs water, contrast imaging allows the doctor to observe the blood flow in your prostate, and spectroscopic imaging is designed to distinguish the signs of prostate cancer from an infection.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend that you undergo all three for a complete analysis.
3. Prostate Cancer Enzyme And Gene Marker Tests
Generally, cancer cells produce certain enzymes that can be detected in the