It starts with a PSA Blood Test
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and Bay Urology have a great deal of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Having a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test is usually the first step in the diagnosis. The test can be ordered by your GP, and if the result is high, may indicate that you have prostate cancer. However the test is not perfect and there may be other, non-cancer reasons why your PSA is elevated. For further information, please read more about who should have PSA tests here.
If your PSA is elevated, your GP will refer you to us for further advice and management. It is common to get a second confirmatory blood test and if this remains elevated then we often need to discuss options. In the past we would proceed straight to transrectal biopsy, but this has some risks and limitations. Multiparametric MRI of the prostate is an excellent additional tool to help with the management of men with an elevated PSA. This may then lead to a transperineal biopsy if required.
Although it is important to have PSA blood tests, not all men will need to have a biopsy, even if the test is elevated. This is because not all men with prostate cancer need treatment. Most prostate cancer is slow growing and the risk of the disease needs to be balanced by your overall health and age and the risks of treatment. If it is likely that "old age" will get you before prostate cancer then there is no advantage to you in undergoing a biopsy. On the other hand, at higher PSA levels, this balance tips the other way, and treatment becomes worthwhile.