Knowing your risk helps you know what’s next For men facing a prostate cancer diagnosis, Finding out you have prostate cancer can be overwhelming. Understanding these 3 steps can help:
Diagnostic Imaging Options 3
Tests to Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Knowing Your Risk
Testing at diagnosis may help you and your doctor understand your disease 1
• A digital rectal exam (DRE) checks for irregular parts of the prostate. Your doctor does this by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger (digit) into your rectum, checking for lumps that could be a sign of a tumor • A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of PSA in your blood. The prostate makes PSA, but too much PSA may indicate the need for further testing
• A biopsy is a minor operation to extract tissue from the prostate. The tissue is examined to see if cancer cells are present
This combination of tests confirms your diagnosis of prostate cancer and provides important information to assess your risk.
2 Knowing your risk may help you and your doctor decide if diagnostic imaging is right for you
– The higher the Gleason score is, the more likely the tumor is to grow and spread • Based on your biopsy, your doctor will determine your Gleason score . This number describes how aggressive your cancer is – Ask your doctor for a full explanation of your Gleason score
• Along with your Gleason score, the results of your digital rectal exam (DRE), PSA test, biopsy, and other factors will help your doctor determine your risk group. Risk group describes how likely your cancer is to progress, which helps your doctor decide how to treat it
Your test results and Gleason score determine your risk, which influences whether you may need diagnostic imaging.
3 Diagnostic imaging may help you and your doctor choose an appropriate treatment
• Your doctor may move forward with diagnostic imaging to gain a more detailed picture of your prostate cancer
• Prostate cancer imaging provides more insight into cancer progression. It may give your doctor a better sense of where the cancer is, how many tumors there are, and how likely it is to get worse
What are common diagnostic imaging tools? Standard diagnostic imaging methods, such as bone scans, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been used for locating tumors. However, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)–targeted PET/CT has been known to provide better information where standard diagnostic imaging may fall short.
Looking for more support with understanding your diagnosis? Follow these advocacy groups:
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING OPTIONS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR DISEASE
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