This information is for anyone who would like to know more about the way prostate cancer is diagnosed. It describes the tests used to diagnose prostate cancer and explains what the results may show. You may not need to have all the tests described, so ask your doctor or nurse which ones are relevant for you.
Updated March 2012
To be reviewed March 2014
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
You might decide to go your GP if you have some urinary symptoms, are worried about prostate problems, or because you feel you might be more at risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer and other non-cancerous 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.
Although there is no single test to diagnose prostate cancer, there are a few tests that your GP can carry out to find out if you have a prostate problem.
The main tests include:
- a urine test to rule out infection
- a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test
- a digital rectal examination (DRE).
Before you decide whether or not to have these tests, your GP should explain what the tests involve and talk with you about the advantages and disadvantages. They can help you understand more about prostate cancer and if you are at risk. It is important you feel you have enough time to think about whether you want to have tests or not.
If you decide to have tests at your GP surgery and the results suggest you may have a prostate problem, your GP will make an appointment for you to see a doctor at a hospital for further tests.
Hospital tests that you may have are:
- another PSA blood test
- a biopsy called a trans-rectal ultrasound
- (TRUS) guided prostate needle biopsy
- a computerised tomography (CT) scan
- 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 things explained more, or need help in making a decision, there is support available. You can talk to your doctor, specialist nurse or other health professionals, or you may like to speak to one of our Specialist Nurses.
If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you can read more here.
The PSA test measures the amount of PSA in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. A raised PSA level may show that there is a problem with the prostate but it does not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. Your PSA level together with other test results, your age, your family history and your ethnicity can help assess your risk. The PSA test can be done 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.
There are pros and cons to having a PSA test.
If you decide to have a 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 level.
It can take up to two weeks to get the PSA test results. If your PSA level is high for your age, your doctor will either repeat the test, or arrange for you to have further tests. Your PSA test result alone cannot tell you whether or not you have prostate cancer and a 'normal' PSA does not completely rule out prostate cancer. If you would like more detailed information about the PSA test, call our Specialist Nurses.
What can affect my PSA level?
PSA naturally rises with age because the prostate usually gets bigger with age. The following PSA levels give an idea of what is 'normal' for your age.
- Up to 3 ng/ml for men in their 50's
- Up to 4 ng/ml for men in their 60's and
- Up to 5 ng/ml for men in their 70's and over.1
This is just a rough guide. PSA test results can also vary slightly between laboratories, as they may use different testing methods. There is no upper limit for the PSA level, and some men may have a PSA level in the hundreds or thousands. Having a PSA level this high is uncommon but is likely to suggest that a man has prostate cancer.
A urine infection
A urine infection can cause your PSA level to rise temporarily so you may have a simple urine test to rule this out. Your GP will treat any infection and offer you a PSA test four to six weeks later.
Having an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) or hyperplasia (BPH) is a common, non-cancerous condition that affects many men as they get older. It is most commonly diagnosed in men over 50. The increase in prostate size can cause the prostate to produce more PSA.
Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. It is a common condition and causes the PSA level to rise.
Prostate cancer may cause the PSA level in the blood to rise. However, some men with prostate cancer have a normal PSA.2
Exercise such as cycling may cause a temporary rise in your PSA level, so you may be advised to avoid vigorous exercise for two days before having a PSA test.1
You may be advised to avoid any sexual activity that leads to ejaculation in the 48 hours before a PSA test, as this could cause a temporary rise to your PSA level.1
If you have had a biopsy in the last six weeks before a PSA test, this can affect your PSA level.1
You should let your GP know if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines as they might affect your PSA level.
Other investigations or operations
If you have a catheter or have had any investigations or operations of your bladder or prostate these could raise your PSA level. Your doctor or nurse may suggest waiting for up to six weeks after these procedures before having a PSA test.
Digital rectal examination (DRE)
A common way of helping to diagnose a prostate problem is for your GP to feel the prostate gland through the wall of the back passage (rectum). This is called a digital rectal examination (DRE).
If you have this test your GP should do it after a PSA test if possible, as having a DRE straight before a PSA test may raise your PSA level. Your GP may decide to do these tests at different appointments.
You will be asked to lie on your side, on an examination table with your knees brought up towards your chest. If you find it easier, you can stand and lean over the back of a chair or the examination table instead.
The GP will slide their finger gently into your back passage. They will wear gloves and put some gel on their finger to make it more comfortable. Some men understandably find the test embarrassing but it will be over quickly and should not be painful.
Your GP will feel the back surface of the prostate gland for any hard or irregular areas and to estimate its size. If the prostate gland is larger than expected for your age group this could be a sign of benign prostatic enlargement (BPE). A prostate gland with hard, bumpy areas may suggest prostate cancer.
If your DRE result shows anything unusual, you will be referred to a hospital specialist. However, it is not a completely accurate test. A man with prostate cancer may have a DRE that feels normal.
What tests will I have at the hospital?
Your doctor or nurse at the hospital may repeat some of the tests you had at your GP practice. After examining you, they may decide that you do not need any more investigations for the time-being, or offer you another PSA test in the near future. However, if they are still concerned that you might have prostate cancer, they may recommend a further test called a biopsy. This is sometimes called a trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided prostate biopsy.
A prostate biopsy involves taking small pieces of prostate tissue to be looked at more closely under the microscope. The aim of a biopsy is to find any prostate cancer that has the potential to cause symptoms or affect your life expectancy.
Having a high PSA level alone does not automatically mean that you must have a biopsy. Your specialist should talk to you about the advantages and disadvantages of having a biopsy and discuss any concerns you may have before you decide whether or not to have the test.
If you decide to have a biopsy you should be given written information about the procedure and what it involves.
Men who have cancer that has already spread outside of the prostate gland may not need a biopsy. They may be offered another test, such as a bone scan.3 Your doctor or nurse can advise you on this.
What does a biopsy involve?
If you decide to have a biopsy, you may be given an appointment to come back to the hospital at a later date or you may be offered a biopsy straight away.
A biopsy involves taking around 10 to 121 small samples of tissue from the prostate. Your doctor can tell you how many samples they will take. A trans-rectal ultrasound scan (TRUS) will be done at the same time to help guide the biopsy needles and measure the size of the prostate gland.
Before the biopsy you should tell your doctor or nurse if you are taking any medicines, particularly drugs to prevent blood clots (anti-coagulants), including warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel or dipyridamole.4
Before your biopsy you will be given antibiotics, either as tablets or an injection to help prevent infection. You will need to continue your course of antibiotics when you go home. After the biopsy you may also be given an antibiotic suppository in your back passage.
The biopsy will be done either by a urologist, a radiologist, or a specialist nurse. They will put an ultrasound probe into your back passage (rectum) using a gel to make it more comfortable. A needle is then placed down the probe and through the wall of the back passage into the prostate gland, using the ultrasound image as a guide.
Each man is different and while some describe the biopsy as a bit painful, others have only slight discomfort. Your specialist should give you a local anaesthetic injection into your back passage (rectum) to make the area feel numb and to help reduce any discomfort when the biopsy samples are taken.4
The biopsy will take 10 to 15 minutes. You may be asked to wait for about half an hour after the biopsy or until you have passed urine before going home.
If you experience any discomfort after the biopsy, talk to your nurse or doctor. They may suggest you take a mild painkiller such as paracetamol to help with this.
It can take up to two weeks for the results of the biopsy to come back. You can ask your doctor or nurse when they expect to have your results.
What are the possible side effects of biopsy?
Once you have gone home, you may see a small amount of blood in your urine or stools for up to two weeks. You may find blood in your semen for up to six weeks. If it takes longer than this to clear up, or gets worse you should see a doctor straight away.
There is a small risk of getting a urine infection after the biopsy. A course of antibiotics will help clear this up. A very small number of men may get a more serious infection. This may affect about one in 50 men (two per cent5). It is very important to take all of the antibiotics you have been given, as prescribed, to help prevent this happening. If you have a high temperature, pain or burning when you pass urine, or difficulty passing urine, you may have an infection. This can happen even if you have been taking antibiotics. If you have these symptoms you should go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away.
Some men are unable to pass urine after a biopsy. This is called urine retention. If this happens to you it is important to contact your doctor or nurse at the hospital urgently, or visit the accident and emergency (A&E) department.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a biopsy?
Biopsy is the most accurate way of finding out whether prostate cancer is present in the prostate gland, and if so, how much cancer is present in the samples taken. This can help you, and the team of specialists involved in your care, decide which treatment options may be suitable for you.
The biopsy can only show whether there was cancer found in the samples taken. If your biopsy result is normal it cannot rule out cancer completely. This is because the biopsy collects tissue from a small area of the gland, so it is possible that cancer can be missed.
The aim of a biopsy is to find prostate cancer that may cause symptoms or affect how long you are likely to live. But having a prostate biopsy may mean you are diagnosed with a slow growing cancer. For some men the side effects of treatment for cancer may be worse than the effects of the cancer itself. This can make it difficult to decide whether to have treatment or have your cancer monitored.
What do my biopsy results mean?
A doctor who specialises in examining cells using a microscope (pathologist) will examine your biopsy samples and will tell your doctor if any cancer is found. They will also tell your doctor how many samples are affected and how much cancer is present in each sample. The pathologist will write a report of the biopsy results, called a pathology report. You may be sent a copy of the report which you can read through with your doctor or specialist nurse, or look at when you are home.
If no cancer is found
If no cancer is found this is obviously reassuring. However, strictly speaking this would mean 'no cancer found' rather than 'no cancer present'. There could be a small cancer that the needles did not hit. Your doctor will talk to you about what to do next. They may suggest keeping an eye on your prostate with further PSA tests and DREs. If they still suspect that cancer is present they will talk to you about having another biopsy. You may be offered either another TRUS biopsy, or a template or saturation biopsy.3
Other possible biopsy results
Sometimes when pathologists are looking at biopsy results under a microscope they may find other changes to your prostate cells such as PIN or ASAP.
What is PIN?
Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is the name given to certain changes in the cells that line the prostate gland. PIN is not the same as prostate cancer, and does not need treatment. If you are told you have PIN you may need to have follow-up tests at the hospital. This is because some research suggests that having PIN can increase your chance of getting prostate cancer in the future. You can discuss this with your doctor. We have more information in our fact sheet, Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
What is ASAP?
ASAP stands for 'atypical small acinar proliferation'. It is the term used when your prostate tissue shows possible signs of prostate cancer, but there is not enough evidence to say for certain whether you have prostate cancer or not. If you are told you have ASAP, you may need to have another biopsy so that the pathologist can take another look at the cells in your prostate.
Template and saturation biopsy
These types of biopsy involve taking more tissue samples than a TRUS biopsy. You will usually have about 32 samples taken from different areas of the prostate gland. This procedure is normally done under general anaesthetic.
If you have a template biopsy, your doctor will place a grid template over the area of skin between the testicles and back passage (perineum). They will take samples of your prostate by putting the biopsy needles through the holes in the grid. You will have a trans-rectal ultrasound scan at the same time to help guide the biopsy needles.
There is a greater chance of finding prostate cancer cells using one of these biopsies because more of the prostate is being examined.3 However, it may find slow growing cancer that may not cause any symptoms or affect how long you are likely to live. Ask your doctor to explain the advantages and disadvantages and possible side effects of each of these types of biopsy.
Researchers have been looking at other tests that may be helpful in diagnosing prostate cancer. These tests are not widely available and more research is needed before we can be sure how useful these tests are.
Free and total PSA test
This is a different way of analysing the amount of PSA in your blood. This test looks at how much there is of two different types of PSA called free PSA and total PSA. Some evidence suggests that this test can help tell the difference between men who have a high PSA because they have BPH and men who have a high PSA because they have prostate cancer.6 The test is only suitable for men who have a PSA level between 4 and 10 ng/ml.
A urine test called a PCA3 test
Your doctor or nurse will massage your prostate and then take a urine sample. Cells from the prostate pass into the urine where they can be examined later with a special genetic-based test. The PCA3 test might be useful in helping to decide whether some men who have had PSA test should have a biopsy. Or for monitoring men who have already had prostate biopsies and no cancer was found.8 This test is not usually available on the NHS as more clinical trials are needed first.9
A type of MRI scan called a 'diffusion scan'
This is to try to identify any abnormal looking areas to target during the biopsy. Clinical trials are looking at how useful these scans are at diagnosing prostate cancer. If you would like to find out more about clinical trials read our Tool Kit fact sheet A guide to prostate cancer clinical trials.
If cancer is found
If your biopsy samples contain cancer, it is graded to show how active the cancer is. The pathologist looks at the pattern made by the cancer cells and gives that pattern a grade from 1 to 5. This is called Gleason grading.
The pathologist may see more than one grade of cancer in the biopsy samples. The grades of the most common pattern and the pattern with the highest grade are added together to give a 'Gleason score'.
For example, if the biopsy shows that most of the cancer seen is grade 3 and the highest grade of cancer seen is grade 4, the Gleason will be 3+4, and the Gleason score will be 7.
The higher the Gleason score, the more aggressive the cancer and the more likely it is to spread. Gleason scores run from 2 to 10. However, today doctors usually only give a Gleason grade of 3 or more, so your Gleason score will normally be between 6 and 10.10
It is important to remember that your Gleason score is one of a few factors that helps give your doctor an overall idea of your cancer. They will also need to look at your PSA result and how far your cancer has spread (stage).
The table below describes the different Gleason scores that may be given after a prostate biopsy. This is just a guide. Your doctor or nurse will talk through what your results mean.
3 + 3
All of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow slowly.
3 + 4
Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow slowly. There were some cancer cells that look more likely to grow at a more moderate rate.
Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow at a moderate rate. There were some cancer cells that look likely to grow slowly.
All of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow at a moderately quick rate.
Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow at a moderately quick rate. There were some cancer cells that are likely to grow more quickly.
Most of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow quickly.
All of the cancer cells found in the biopsy look likely to grow quickly.
If cancer is found, this is likely to be a big shock and you may not remember everything that your doctor and nurse tell you. You may wish to take a family member, partner or friend with you for support when you get the results. You can also ask the person with you to make some notes at the appointment. You may find it helpful to take a tape recorder with you and ask your doctor or nurse's permission to tape your consultation so you can take it home afterwards and listen to what was said as often as you need. You should also be sent a copy of the letter your specialist writes to your GP.
You may find that it helps to talk to friends and family or a counsellor about how you are feeling. You can also speak to one of our Specialist Nurses.
Will I need an MRI, CT or bone scan?
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may need more tests to try and find out whether it has spread outside the prostate. The results should help you and your doctor decide which treatments may be suitable for you.
You may not need to have these tests if your PSA is low and your Gleason score suggests that the cancer is unlikely to have spread.11
A computerised tomography (CT) scan can show whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the prostate. You may have this scan if there is a risk of your cancer spreading and you are considering treatment options such as radiotherapy or radical prostatectomy.
The scanner takes X-rays of your pelvis, which are fed into a computer to create an image of the prostate and the surrounding tissues, including the lymph nodes. The doctor can then look more closely for possible signs that the cancer has spread.
Your hospital will give you information on what will happen at your appointment and may ask you not to eat or drink for a few hours before the scan. When you arrive at the radiology department, you will be given an injection of a dye. This can give you a warm feeling and you may feel that you need to go to the toilet. The dye helps the doctor see the prostate and surrounding organs on the scan. It is not radioactive. You will also be asked to take off any metal jewellery, as this can interfere with the machine.
You should let the X-ray department know well in advance of your scan appointment if:
- you already know you are allergic to the dye,
- you have any other allergies, or
- you are taking the drug metformin for diabetes.
The CT scanner is shaped like a large doughnut. You will be asked to lie on a sliding table, which moves through the hole in the middle of the machine. The radiographer will leave the room but you will be able to speak to them through an intercom and they can see you at all times. You will need to keep still and may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. The scan itself takes 10 to 20 minutes and you will be able to go home afterwards. It can take up to two weeks for all of the pictures taken by the scanner to be put together and looked at by the radiologist and your multi-disciplinary team (MDT).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets rather than X-rays to create a detailed picture of your prostate and surrounding tissues. You may have an MRI if there is a risk of your cancer spreading and you are considering treatment options such as radiotherapy or radical prostatectomy.
As the scan uses magnets you will need to take off any jewellery or metal items that could be attracted to the magnet. You will also be asked questions about your health and whether you have any implants, such as a pacemaker for your heart. This is to make sure the scan does not harm you. You may also be asked to leave credit cards or similar items at home, or with a friend or relative, while you are being scanned because the machine's magnet may affect the information held on them.
Some MRI scanners are doughnut-shaped like a CT scanner. Other MRI scanners are shaped like a long tunnel so much more of the machine covers your body than in a CT scanner. If you suffer from a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), you should let the scanning department know as soon as possible.
You will be asked to lie on a table which passes into the tunnel and you may feel totally enclosed. The radiographer may decide to give you an injection of a special dye during the scan, if they think that this will help improve the pictures taken by the scanner.
You should let your X-ray department know if you already know you are allergic to the dye that is used.
The scan takes between 30 and 40 minutes. The machine is very noisy but you will not feel anything. You can speak to the staff through a microphone and you may be able to listen to music. You can take a friend or family member into the room with you while you have the scan.
A bone scan may show whether any cancer cells have spread from the prostate to the bone. This is a common place for for prostate cancer to spread.
If your doctor has any concerns that the cancer may have spread outside the prostate, or wants to be sure that it has not spread, then they may want to do a bone scan.
If you are concerned about why you are having a bone scan, ask your doctor or nurse to explain what they are expecting to find. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any arthritis or have had a previous bone injury, surgery, or fracture, as it will help the radiologist to look at the scan results correctly.
The bone scan is done in the X-ray or nuclear medicine department of the hospital. You may be asked to drink plenty of fluids before and after the scan. A small amount of a safe radioactive dye is injected into a vein in your arm. The dye travels around your body in your blood and collects in your bones. This process takes around two to three hours, so you will need to wait a while before you have the scan. You may like to take a book along with you to read while you are waiting or take a walk outside the hospital.
When the scan begins, you will be asked to lie on a table while the machine moves down your body, taking pictures. This takes around half an hour. The camera will pick up any 'hot spots' where the radioactive substance has collected. These 'hot spots' can show if the cancer has spread to the bone. They also show any areas of arthritis and other bone damage such as old fractures.
The doctor will look at the results of the scan carefully to see whether any cancer is present. You may need to have X-rays of any 'hot spots' to help your doctor to identify the difference between changes to the bone caused by cancer and changes caused by other damage. If there is still doubt, you may need to have an MRI scan of these areas of the bone. Occasionally some men have a bone biopsy, but this is only needed in rare cases.
You may be asked to avoid contact with pregnant women and children for up to 24 hours after the scan has been completed.
What happens next?
Your doctor or nurse will tell you how long it will take for the results of all the tests to come back. It usually takes around two weeks. Once all of the results are gathered together and have been discussed by your Multi-disciplinary team (MDT), they will stage the cancer.
Your MDT is the team of doctors, nurses and other specialists involved in your care. You may hear it called your specialist team. The team may include a specialist nurse, a consultant oncologist, a consultant urologist and a radiologist. Although there will be several people in your MDT, you may not get to meet all of them at your appointments.
Staging is a way of recording how far the cancer has spread. The most common method is the TNM (Tumour-Nodes- Metastases) system. This system separately assesses the tumour (T), lymph nodes (N) and secondary cancer or metastases (M).
The T stage shows how far the cancer has spread in and around the prostate gland. This is measured by a digital rectal examination (DRE). You may also have an MRI scan to confirm your T stage.
T1 The cancer cannot be felt and can only be seen under a microscope - localised prostate cancer
T2 The cancer can be felt or seen but it is contained within the prostate gland - localised prostate cancer
T3 The cancer can be felt or seen breaking through the capsule of the prostate gland - locally advanced prostate cancer
T4 The tumour has spread to nearby organs, such as the bladder neck, back passage or pelvic wall - locally advanced prostate cancer
The N stage shows whether or not the cancer has spread from the prostate to the nearby lymph nodes. This is looked at by using an MRI or CT scan (see page x). You may be offered an MRI or CT scan if you are thinking about having a treatment such as radiotherapy or prostatectomy and there is a risk that your cancer might have spread to your lymph nodes.
NX The lymph nodes were not measured
N0 The lymph nodes are not seen to contain cancer cells
N1 The lymph nodes contain cancer cells
If your scan results suggest that your cancer has spread to these lymph nodes (N1), it may either be treated as locally advanced or advanced prostate cancer. This may depend on several factors including the results of your M stage (see below) and assessment by your multi-disciplinary team. Speak to you specialist about the treatments that may be suitable for you if your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes.
The M stage shows whether the cancer has spread (metastasised) to other parts of the body, such as the bone. This is measured using a bone scan (see page x). Your doctor may offer you a bone scan if they think your cancer may have spread. However, the majority of men diagnosed with localised prostate cancer will not need to have a bone scan. If you have a bone scan and the results show that your cancer has spread to other parts of the body (M1), you will be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
MX The spread of the cancer was not measured
M0 The cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
M1 The cancer has spread to other parts of the body
For example, if your cancer is described as T2, N0, MO it is likely that your cancer:
- is contained completely within the prostate gland
- has not spread to your lymph nodes
- has not spread to other parts of your body
Getting the results
Your test results will be collected and studied by your multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to give an overall idea of your cancer. This will then help you and your doctor to discuss the best possible treatments.
Depending on the results, your cancer may be treated as:
There are different treatment options for each of these stages.
When you go to get your results, ask your specialist team to explain what your treatment options are, and anything you have not understood, as this will be important when you consider your next steps. Take a notepad with you to help you remember any important points.
If you are unsure about your test results or the treatment options offered to you by your consultant, you may request a second opinion from another specialist by talking to your GP.
You can also speak to one of our Specialist Nurses.
A personal experience
'Once into the system and discovering the different available treatments, and then experiencing the wonderful care of my specialist team, things did not look nearly so bad'.
What support is available?
Men respond in all kinds of ways to being diagnosed with prostate cancer. You may feel shocked, frightened or angry. If you feel well, you may not believe that you have prostate cancer. It can also be difficult to decide what treatment to have and you might feel stressed. All of these emotions are normal reactions to a diagnosis of cancer.
As well as getting medical help to treat your cancer most men find it helps to get some emotional support as well. Talking to a partner, friend or relative about how you are feeling may help them to support you and take some of the pressure off you. Sharing concerns can make any decisions about your treatment easier to deal with.
You could talk to your nurse or doctor about how you are feeling. You can also call our Specialist Nurses.
A personal experience
'I found talking remotely to an experienced nurse on the Helpline about more technical points tremendously helpful.'
Support groups can be a good way for you to meet people with similar experiences. These groups are often set up by local health professionals, or by people who have experience of prostate cancer. Meetings are usually informal and offer an opportunity to find out about other people's experiences as well as discussing your own. Many support groups also welcome partners, friends and relatives.
You may also like to sign up to our online community, where you can share your views and experiences with others affected by prostate cancer.
If you would like to speak to another man who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, we can put you in touch with one of our Support Volunteers.
Questions to ask your specialist team
- What is my PSA level?
- Will I need a biopsy? What are the risks and side effects of having a biopsy?
- How many biopsy samples will you take?
- What are my Gleason grades and Gleason score?
- Will I need an MRI, CT or bone scan?
- What is the stage of my cancer? What does this mean?
- What treatments are suitable for me?
British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Telephone 01455 883316
BACP will help you find qualified counsellors. They are happy to discuss any queries or concerns you have about choosing a counsellor or the counselling process.
Part of Cancer Research UK, Cancer Help provides information about all types of cancer and a database of cancer clinical trials.
Virtual hospital from the Royal College of Radiologists. Interactive information on cancer treatment and scans. Includes descriptions from both staff and patients.
Lets you share in other people's experiences of health and illness. You can watch or listen to videos of the interviews, read about people's experiences and find reliable information about conditions, treatment choices and support.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Provides practical, financial and emotional support for people with cancer, their family and friends.
Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres
Telephone: 0131 537 2456
Drop-in cancer information and support centres located in several towns and cities around the UK.
Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme
The aim of this programme is to ensure that men who are concerned about the risk of prostate cancer receive clear and balanced information about the advantages and disadvantages of the PSA test and treatment for prostate cancer.
- Pauline Bagnall, Uro-oncology Nurse Specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, North Shields
- Simon RJ Bott, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey
- Nona Toothill, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, West Yorkshire
- Prostate Cancer UK's Volunteers
- Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses
Written and edited by:
Prostate Cancer UK's Information Team
- Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme information for primary care; PSA testing in asymptomatic men. Evidence document January 2010
- Thompson IM, Pauler DK Goodman PJ et al. Operating characteristics of prostate-specific antigen in men with an initial PSA level of 3.0ng/ml or lower. JAMA, 2005, 294 (1):66-7
- National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Prostate Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment; Full Guideline. 2008
- PCRMP Guide no1. Undertaking a transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy of the prostate. Dec 2006
- Eichler K et al. Diagnostic value of systematic prostate biopsy methods in the investigation for prostate cancer: a systematic review. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York; 2005.
- Jansen FH, Roobol M, Jenster G et al. Screening for prostate cancer in 2008 II: the importance of molecular subforms of prostate-specific antigen and tissue kallikreins. Eur Urol. 2009;55(3):563-74.
- Schilling D, de Reijke T, Tombal B, de la Taille A, Hennenlotter J, Stenzl A. The Prostate Cancer gene 3 assay: indications for use in clinical practice. BJU I 2009 105, 452-455
- Schilling D, de Reijke T, Tombal B, de la Taille A, Hennenlotter J, Stenzl A Follow-up of men with an elevated PCA3 score and a negative biopsy: does an elevated PCA3 score indeed predict the presence of prostate cancer? BJU Int. 2010 Feb;105(4):452-5
- Noguerira L, Corradi R, Eastham J. Other biomarkers for detecting prostate cancer. BJUI 2009 105, 166-169
- Berney, D M (2007). The case for modifying the Gleason grading system. BJU Int, 100 (4), p.725-726
- Royal College of Radiologists Clinical Oncology Information Network, British Association of Urological Surgeons. Guidelines on the management of prostate cancer; 1999.