Prostate Gland (Human Anatomy): Prostate Function, Conditions, Tests and Treatments

Prostate Tests

1. Digital rectal examination (DRE)

A DRE is required in order to identify the signs of prostate cancer, such as nodules or lumps, and it also aids in identifying an enlarged prostate or softness due to prostatitis. The doctor lubricates his/her gloved finger, and then inserts it within the rectum in order to examine the prostate and feel the signs of suspicious growths.

2. Prostate biopsy

This procedure involves the insertion of a needle through the rectum, from where it travels up to the prostate and removes a tiny tissue, which is later studied and examined for signs of prostate cancer.

3. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

The prostate is responsible for generating a protein known as PSA, and this protein can be measured with the help of a blood test. If the PSA appears to be high, the patient has a greater chance of developing prostate cancer, however, an enlarged prostate can also bring about an increase in PSA.

4. Prostate ultrasound

Also referred to as a transrectal ultrasound, it involves the insertion of an ultrasound probe within the rectum, from where it travels closer towards the prostate. In most cases, a biopsy is often accompanied by an ultrasound in order to identify and diagnose prostate cancer.

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