What are the special tests to detect cancer?

Certain tests help us in diagnosing cancer.

  1. Digital rectal examination : The doctor will put a finger in the rectum and palpate the prostate gland. Normally it feels firm but if some area is hard, it is suspicious of cancer. 80-90% times this simple examination Itself will detect presence of cancer.
  2. PSA : This is a special blood test. If the PSA level is raised beyond a certain limit, it is suspicious of cancer.
  3. Trans-rectal Sonography : This is a special ultrasound test. It is done by passing a robe in the rectum. With this complete internal structure of prostate can be studied. In helps not only in detecting cancer but also in staging the cancer. If cancer is present, whether it is situated only in 1 part, or in whole gland, whether the capsule Is broken or not, whether it has spread to nearby seminal vesicles, etc. All these details can be known. In addition biopsy from a suspicious area can be taken under this ultrasound guidance.
  4. Bone scan : To detect any deposition of cancer in the bone.
  5. X-ray Chest : To detect any deposition of cancer in the lungs.
  6. Ultimate confirmation of cancer is done by taking a biopsy (removing a piece of prostate and studying it under microscope).
  7. This is done by passing a needle through the rectum - either with or without ultrasound control. Ultrasound guided biopsy has the advantage - It is accurate and all suspicious areas can be biopsied.