Prostate Cancer Home > Prostate Cancer Screening

False-Positive Test Results
Test results may appear to be abnormal even though no cancer is present. A false-positive test result (one that shows there is cancer when there really isn't) can cause anxiety and is usually followed by more tests (such as a biopsy), which also have risks. A biopsy to diagnose prostate cancer can cause bleeding and infection.
 
Your doctor can advise you about your risk for prostate cancer and your need for screening tests.
 

Follow-up Testing

Most men who go for further testing do not have cancer. If your PSA test or DRE suggests a problem, your doctor most likely will refer you to a urologist (a doctor who has special training in prostate-related problems). Additional testing is necessary to determine if the problem is cancer or something else.
 
The urologist may perform a transrectal ultrasound -- a small probe inserted into the rectum that bounces sound waves off the prostate, producing a video image. Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) does not provide enough specific information to make it a good screening tool by itself, but some doctors find it useful as a follow-up to a suspicious DRE or PSA test.
 
If the urologist suspects cancer, tiny samples of the prostate may be removed with a needle. This is called a biopsy. A biopsy is usually performed in the urologist's office. The samples are examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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