What Happens in the Course of Prostate Cancer Biopsy

May 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Test

Urologists or doctors can conduct some tests to find out if you have prostate cancer. The need for such tests could be due to complaints of urinary problems, pains on the lower back, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, etc. Sometimes, the tests may be conducted because you suspect you are likely to be diagnosed of this condition.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) are usually the first tests to be conducted. PSA test is a blood test to check for elevated level to PSA in the body. A high level of this protein-like substance produced by the prostate gland could be an indication that the person has prostate cancer. Digital Rectal Exam is the procedure whereby a lubricated gloved finger is inserted into the rectum to feel for abnormal size of the prostate gland.

Both PSA Test and DRE can give inconsistent results, hence prostate biopsy is conducted. A biopsy is test whereby some tissues of the prostate are removed and observed under a microscope. The tissues are taken through the use of transrectal ultrasound imaging. In this, several needles are guided through the rectum to remove tissues of the prostate.

Biopsy can be uncomfortable despite its benefit of providing better results than PSA Test and DRE.

Here are highlights of what happens in the biopsy process

Before biopsy is conducted by the doctor you need to do the following:

  • inform the doctor of any medication you have been taking and also inform him of any other condition you have
  • You need to discontinue the intake of some medications for sometime. Drugs like Persantine, Coumadin, and other forms of blood thinners should be avoided, or your doctor can prescribe best alternatives for you. In addition, aspirin and other forms of anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided before biopsy. All of these medications can affect the result. However, your doctor must be in the know of what you are taking and what you should avoid.
  • In the morning of the procedure, you should take light breakfast and drink clear liquid.
  • Evacuation of bowel may be required and the doctor can enforce this by the use of enema.

During the biopsy procedure

Your prostate tissues are taken through an ultrasound probe. The time taken is usually between 10 to 20 minutes. You are going to lie by your side while this is done. You may feel slight discomfort in the process and some kind of pain reliever would be given to you.

After the biopsy procedure

  • the extracted tissues would be taken the lab for analysis
  • the result will be available( at least a week after the biopsy)
  • You may notice some traces of blood in your semen, stool, or urine a few days after the procedure.
  • Your doctor can offer you antibiotics and other post biopsy care tips.
  • Drinking six to eight glasses of water can help in flushing out the urinary system for you.

Conclusively, with the highlights above you now understand what to expect during tissue biopsy to detect the staging of prostate cancer.  Consult a certified urologist for detailed information on the procedure.

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