Learn What Are the 6 Tests That Evaluate the Prostate
The examinations given to assess the health of the prostate are a rectal examination and the blood analysis of the PSA, which should be performed every year for all men over 50 years of age.
When they are found changes in these 2 exams, the doctor may order other such as the measurement of the jet of urine, an ultrasound-pg, examination of urine PCA3, and biopsy, which are requested according to the need of each person.
The following are the examinations that assess the prostate:
1. PSA – blood test
It is made from an examination of common blood, which assesses the tumor marker PSA, which has as results normal values less than 4 ng/ml. Thus, when this value is increased, may indicate problems such as inflammation of the prostate or cancer. However, this value also increases with age and, therefore, it is important to take into account the reference value of the laboratory.
Preparation for blood test: to perform the blood test lab is not required to do any specific preparation, it is sufficient to take the request of the doctor.
2. Digital rectal examination
Another examination is essential to assess the prostate gland is the digital rectal examination, conducted by the physician in the office, during a consultation with a urologist or proctologist. This examination is very quick, taking about 1 minute and does not hurt, although it can be uncomfortable. In this exam the doctor can determine if the prostate looks bigger or harder than it should. Understand how is done the digital rectal examination.
Preparation for a rectal examination: you can indicate the intake of a laxative to clean the bowel and, during the examination the patient should remain standing, slightly inclined, or to stay in the position 4 support, with knees and hands on the stretcher, and contract the muscles of the pelvic region during palpation.
3. Ultrasound md
Ultrasonography-pg or ultrasound examination of the prostate is done to evaluate the size of this gland and identify changes in its structure, which is very useful in the diagnosis of prostate cancer still in the early stage of development. But as it is an invasive procedure, does not need to be carried out every year, getting nominated only when there are changes in PSA and digital rectal examination, and normally the doctor takes this exam to take the sample to perform a biopsy of the prostate.
Preparation for ultrasound: may be indicated to use a laxative before the test to empty the bowel.
4. Measurement of the jet of urine
The fluxometria urinary exam is an exam requested by the physician to assess the strength of the jet and the amount of urine in each urination, because when changes occur in the prostate the jet is slower and weak, indicating changes. This exam is not held as a form of specific diagnosis of prostate cancer, but it is useful in the case of prostate cancer is already detected for the monitoring because it helps to understand its impact on the bladder and urethra.
Preparation for fluxometria: must be with a full bladder and urge to urinate, and it is important to drink at least 1 L of water before the examination, which is done with the individual urinating in a specific container connected to a computer, which records the time and the volume of urine.
5. Urinalysis lab
The urologist can also ask for a urine test, called PCA3, which is specific to assess if there is prostate cancer because the exam does not show other changes, such as enlarged prostate. This urine test also shows the aggressiveness of the tumor, and is useful for choosing the appropriate treatment.
Preparation for examination of urine: collection of urine should be made soon after the digital rectal examination in specialized clinics.
The biopsy of the prostate is performed to confirm diagnoses of changes in this gland, such as cancer or benign tumors, being necessary to remove a small piece of this gland to send for analysis in the laboratory. This examination is always done in conjunction with the ultrasound prostate, for a better visualization of the structures.
Preparation for biopsy of the prostate: usually it is necessary to take the antibiotic prescribed by the doctor, for about 3 days, fasting for 6 hours and take a laxative to clear the bowel.
Age to take the exam of the prostate
It is indicated to do diagnostic tests, such as PSA and digital rectal examination from 50 years of age, but when the man has relatives of the 1st degree, with CA of the prostate, is indicated to perform from 45 years of age.
These 2 exams are basic and should be repeated 1 time per year.
But when a man has benign prostatic hyperplasia these examinations should be repeated annually, independent of age.
When the doctor finds changes in these 2 exams basic, it prompts the other according to the need.
What can be the prostate exam changed
The exams may have changed results when problems occur such as:
- Inflammation of the prostate, known as benign tumor of the prostate;
- The presence of bacteria in the prostate gland, known as prostatitis;
- Taking medicines, such as diuretics, nsaids, or aspirin;
- Medical procedures in the bladder, such as biopsy or cystoscopy, may elevate slightly the levels of PSA.