This procedure involves the removal of a sample of prostate tissue to check for the presence of abnormal, or cancerous, cells.
Prostate cancer refers to the growth of abnormal (malignant or cancerous) cells in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. Along with other smaller glands, it produces fluid (also known as semen) that carries sperm and provides them with nutrition.
A prostate biopsy is the removal of a sample of prostate tissue to check for the presence of cancer. It is needed to determine if enlargement of a prostate is due to cancer or BPH.
Your healthcare provider may recommend a prostate biopsy to check for prostate cancer if you have:
A biopsy of the prostate is usually done in a healthcare provider's office. If needed, you may be given some medication to help you relax.
Many factors increase a man's chance of prostate cancer. Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
It is important to note that having risk factors for prostate cancer does not mean you are sure to develop it. In fact, other than age, most men with prostate cancer have no identifiable risk factors.
Prostate cancer is often a very slow-growing cancer. Very small prostate cancers may not cause any symptoms. However, the treatments for prostate cancer (such as surgery or radiation) can have significant unwanted side effects. Some of the symptoms that can be seen in the early stages of prostate cancer can also be caused by other non-cancerous prostate problems. These symptoms include:
As the cancer advances, swelling in the lower legs and pain in the bones can develop. This pain is typically in the lower back and hip area.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam of your prostate (digital rectal exam) and may order a PSA level or biopsy.
If your healthcare provider recommends a prostate biopsy, prior to the procedure tell him or her about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). You should also ask about specific instructions to follow before and after the procedure. These include:
You should contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of prostate cancer or want to discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening. Be prepared to discuss any symptoms you have and how long you have had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a prostate biopsy?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also communicate with your primary care physician.
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