In order to diagnose prostate cancer, your doctor will recommend several tests, beginning with a physical exam. These tests may include one or more of the following:

  • Transrectal Ultrasound - Uses a probe that is inserted into the rectum to take a picture of your prostate gland with sound waves to look for abnormal growth in the prostate
  • Biopsy - A doctor inserts a needle through the rectum and into the prostate and removes small tissue samples, called cores, from several areas of the prostate. A pathologist looks at the samples under a microscope to check for cancer cells. 
  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) As part of the DRE, the doctor uses a lubricated, gloved finger inserted into the rectum to feel the prostate. This test is often performed to screen for prostate cancer or if a man has symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test – This blood test checks levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in the blood. The prostate makes PSA, and a high level in the blood could be caused by cancer. This blood test is often used to screen for prostate cancer.
  • Imaging scans - (such as a bone scan, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI) are used to determine the stage of cancer, how far the cancer has spread throughout the body.