Download: How prostate cancer is diagnosed

Prostate cancer and other prostate problems can cause similar symptoms but are treated differently so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Many men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. Call our Helpline on 0800 074 8383 for more information on risk factors and symptoms of prostate problems. If you are worried about any symptoms, or you think you may be at greater risk of getting prostate cancer, your doctor (GP) will be able to help you decide what action to take. How …

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan • A bone scan with or without X-rays • An ultrasound scan • A urine flow test If you are worried at any point during these tests and would like help in making a decision, there is support available. Doctors, specialist nurses and other health professionals will discuss your case with you if you wish, or you may like to speak to one of our specialist nurses on our confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383. What tests are done by my GP? PSA test The standard PSA test is a blood test that measures the total amount of PSA in your bloodstream. PSA is a protein produced by some of the cells in the prostate. A raised PSA level may show that there is a problem with the prostate. It cannot diagnose prostate cancer but the results of the PSA test together with other factors such as other test results, your family history and your ethnicity can help assess your risk. The PSA test can be carried out by your GP or at the hospital. Your GP should give you information about the advantages and disadvantages of having the test and discuss any questions you have before you decide whether to have the test. If you decide to have the PSA test, you may be asked to have a urine test first to check that you do not have a urine infection. Urine infections can affect your PSA result…. and causes the PSA level to rise. Ask for our booklet Prostatitis for more information. Prostate cancer Prostate cancer may cause the PSA level in the blood to rise. However, some men with some rare types of prostate cancer or early prostate cancer may not have a raised PSA. Vigorous exercise It is not clear whether exercise such as cycling affects the PSA level. You may be advised to avoid vigorous exercise in the 48 hours before a PSA test. Ejaculation Ejaculation in the 48 hours before a PSA test may affect the results, especially in younger men. If you are going to have a PSA test, you may be advised to avoid sexual activity during this time. Prostate biopsy If you have had a biopsy in the last six weeks before a PSA test, this can affect the PSA result. Catheter, cystoscopy and other procedures Your PSA level may be affected if: • You have a urethral catheter. This is a tube inserted into your bladder through the penis to drain urine. • You have had a test called a cystoscopy. This is an investigation where a long tube with a camera is passed through the penis to look into the bladder…..

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