Biopsy Cancer Prostate – Biopsy for Prostate Cancer

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Histology delves into the microscopic study of plant and animal tissue, groups of similar cells interrelated for cooperative performance of a particular biological function in living things. Using this means, a biopsy of such tissue while still alive often is what gives a scientist the valuable information that they seek about various disease processes; while such an histological study after an autopsy is carried out is intended to reveal tissue changes that could have led to death.

In prostate cancer, the only way at this time to irrefutably confirm if a patient is suffering from the condition is by a biopsy of the prostate gland. The cancer may have been detected by error during some other surgical procedure, or suspected when a DRE test is carried. However, after a PSA test that indicates a rise in the level of prostate specific antigen markers in the blood of a patient, the doctor will have to extract some tissue samples by a special needle inserted into the prostate do that it can be examined under a microscope.

The study of tissue was facilitated by the development in the early 20th century of the electron microscope and by the introduction of the scanning electron microscope in ’68. Soon after, several advanced variations in microscope design began to emerge, to the end that today, living tissue so extracted can give a wide range of valuable information to a pathologist viewing it through a microscope. Today it does not matter if they are dealing with tissues found in all the lining of the body and in areas of secretion; or connective tissues for bones, cartilage, and other supporting structures; or muscle tissue; or nerve tissue; or tissues in the blood and lymph; histology can be applied to them all.

Specifically, the histology of prostate cancer cells from the gland not only shows the deviation (or mutation) of the cells of the organ, but also the degree of it. Very clearly the normal cells can be distinguished from the metamorphosed ones, which allows for Gleason numbers to be appointed to them and eventual Gleason scores of the prostate cancer to be determined. The most widely deviated cells get a number between one and five, and the least altered cells also get their own Gleason number. Both numbers are added to get the Gleason score for the patient, which would end up being a figure between one and ten, depicting the aggression and progression of the disease.

Other tests often have to be carried out to determine exactly how much the prostate cancer has metastasized. Often the oncologist settles for MRIs and CT scans, but sometimes they may need bones scans as well, or even other biopsies to be carried out on the other suspected tissues. Neither doctor nor patient looks forward to any of these, but they are often necessary if the best treatments are to be administered to the patient.

Over diagnosing or under diagnosing a patient for prostate cancer can be as devastating as the disease itself, which sometimes may not be necessary.

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