You might go to your GP if you have urinary symptoms, are worried about prostate problems or because you are more at risk of getting prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer and other non-cancerous prostate problems can cause similar symptoms. They are treated differently, so it is important to get the right diagnosis. Most men with early prostate cancer do not have any symptoms.

The PSA test

A PSA test is a blood test that measures the total amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. A raised PSA level may show that you have a problem with your prostate, not necessarily prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer UK man testing Guy's clinic

What happens next?

If the results of the tests you had at your GP's surgery suggest you have a prostate problem, your GP will discuss treatment options with you. Or they will refer you to the hospital if they think you need further tests.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

If the tests you had at the GP surgery suggest you have a prostate problem, they may refer you to the hospital for further tests.

Getting your results

It usually takes around two weeks to get all the results. These can give an indication of how far the cancer has spread and how quickly it might be growing.

Digital rectal examination (DRE)

The DRE is a common way of helping to diagnose a prostate problem.

Gleason grade and gleason score

Prostate cancer cells in your biopsy samples are given a Gleason grade. This tells you how aggressive the cancer is – in other words, how likely it is to grow and spread outside the prostate.

Just diagnosed?

Men respond in different ways to being diagnosed with prostate cancer. You may feel shocked, angry or scared. You may want to find out more about what treatments are available to you.


Staging is a way of recording how far the cancer has spread. The most common method is the TNM system.

Prostate cancer UK consultant guys clinic

What will happen at the GP surgery?

If you have symptoms, your GP will ask you about them, how long you have had them, whether they are getting worse over time, and how they are affecting your life.