Prostate tests

Read about the tests and checks used to see if you have prostate cancer or another prostate problem. They include the PSA test, digital rectal examination (DRE), prostate biopsy and scans. We also explain what your results might mean.

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Introduction to prostate tests

Why you might have tests, and what to expect at your GP surgery and at the hospital.

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The PSA test

Learn how the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test can help to diagnose prostate problems, the pros and cons of the test, what the results mean, and what might happen afterwards.

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Digital rectal examination (DRE)

Your doctor or nurse feels the prostate through the wall of the back passage to check for signs of cancer and to see if it is enlarged.

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MRI scan

Learn how MRI scans can help to diagnose prostate cancer, the advantages and disadvantages of the scan, and what the results mean.

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Scans to see if your cancer has spread

MRI, CT, bone and PET scans can show whether the cancer has spread outside the prostate and where it has spread to. You might hear this called your TNM stage.

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Prostate biopsy

This involves taking small pieces of prostate tissue to be looked at under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

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