Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
Specialists at the Prostate Center and the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute diagnose prostate cancer using the latest technologies. A quick, precise diagnosis is the important first step in tailoring your treatment plan.
Expert prostate cancer diagnosis at AHN
At the Cancer Institute, we use sophisticated technology to diagnose prostate cancer. You can expect the diagnostic process to be:
- Minimally invasive: Our diagnostic tests use advanced tools that do not require an incision and will keep you as comfortable as possible.
- Expert: Our prostate cancer specialists use the latest research, so you receive the most precise diagnosis. A specific diagnosis helps us create an effective treatment plan, tailored to your needs.
- Collaborative: You see the specialists you need in one place, at one time. This approach ensures the quickest possible diagnosis. You also have access to our robust support services, such as support groups and palliative care.
Diagnostic procedures for prostate cancer
Often, a symptom of untreated prostate cancer is difficulty urinating. If you experience difficulty or pain when urinating, see your physician.
Initial tests for prostate cancer include:
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): Your physician will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel for bumps or hard areas on both sides of the prostate.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test: This test predicts the likelihood of prostate cancer. If you have high PSA levels, that may indicate prostate cancer. However, this test is not definitive.
- Prostate needle biopsy: This highly targeted procedure allows your physician to sample a select amount of tissue for examination, with as little effect on the surrounding area as possible.
If your physician suspects prostate cancer after these exams, further diagnostic procedures might include:
- Bone scan: In this test, we inject a small amount of fluid into the bloodstream, which gets absorbed by the bones to detect if the cancer has spread. The fluid accumulates in areas where cancer is present.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: We use a combination of X-rays and computer technology to get detailed images of the prostate to pinpoint the cancer’s location.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Powerful magnets and radio waves provide a detailed picture of the prostate.
Prostate cancer treatment
Often, once we have diagnosed prostate cancer, a team of experts will review your case and develop a personalized treatment plan. Our treatment options include specialized surgeries, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Get more information about treating prostate cancer.