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What Are Some Tests For Prostate Cancer and How They Help

If you think you are at risk for developing prostate cancer or you think you may already have prostate cancer, there are several tests that you can take to confirm or deny your suspicions.

The first test one usually goes through is what is called the PSA test. PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen and measures the level in your blood. A higher level of PSA may be a sign of an enlargement, infection, or cancer of the prostate. If it is possible that an infection is raising your PSA, you may first have 4 to 6 weeks of antibiotics.

Another test you may need to take is a digital rectal examination. In this test, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into your rectum to feel your prostate gland. Some prostate tumors can be found this way.

A urine test, in which some of your urine is sent to a lab and checked for blood, infection, or abnormal cells. Prostate cancer can cause blood in the urine.

Another test the doctor may recommend is the international prostate symptom score (IPSS) test. This is a series of questions developed by the World Health Organization that measures how bad your urinating problems are. Sometimes these problems are caused by prostate cancer that is blocking your urine flow.

One other test to determine if you have developed prostate cancer is the urine-flow rate test. This test measures your urine and how fast it comes out. Sometimes a low flow rate is caused by prostate cancer.

If tests point to prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a prostate biopsy, in which tissue is taken from the prostate and examined under a microscope. A biopsy is the only way to confirm whether you have prostate cancer.