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Want to know more about prostate cancer? Dr Nick Plowman, Clinical Oncologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London answers some common questions about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer. Use the video clip menu below to select a question.

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Video transcript: How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

For the patient who is suspected of suffering from prostate cancer – there are several steps to the diagnosis.

Either we can do a urinary test looking at a gene product that is fairly specifically secreted by prostate cancers called a PCA3 test and/or we can screen the patient’s pelvis and prostate by one of several means. The commonest is transrectal ultrasound which gives us a clear picture of the prostate and may well show abnormalities. Another screening method is MRI scan.
 
However, once a suspicion has been raised by one of the methods – PSA or scans, then the definitive diagnosis is made by biopsy. Biopsy is usually performed by a needle approach under ultrasound control, transrectally by taking cores from each of the four quadrants of the prostate.

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