When it comes to prostate cancer it is important for all men to understand the different options and to stay informed.
Postate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the United States, and about 3 million men in the U.S. consider themselves prostate cancer survivors.
The prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE) are two tests that are used to screen for prostate cancer. The decision to have a biopsy is based on PSA and DRE results.
For a prostate biopsy, tiny pieces of tissue are removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope. The pathologist is the doctor who will look carefully at the tissue samples to look for cancer cells. This is largely the only way to know for sure if you have prostate cancer.
A transperineal biopsy is when your doctor puts a needle into the prostate through the skin behind the testicles. This is an area known as the perineum. Your doctor will take a number of tissue samples, which are then sent to the lab for review.
An advantage of the transperineal biopsy is that it markedly reduces the potential of infection or bleeding, which can be a complication of the biopsy.
The biopsy is often done as an outpatient procedure. General anesthesia is used to provide more comfort.
For more information, listen to our recent Urology Care Podcast episode with Dr. Benjamin Ristau. Dr. Ristau is an urologist with UConn Health in Farmington, Conn. You can listen to the podcast player embedded below, or subscribe to the Urology Care Podcast wherever you get your favorite podcasts today!