Detecting Prostate Cancer
In addition to routine screening and detection methods, the UW Carbone Cancer Center may use the following methods to aid in the diagnosis and detection of prostate cancer.
Free PSA Blood Test
The Free PSA blood test may be used in conjunction with the standard "total" PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test. The smaller the percentage of Free PSA found, the greater the likelihood that prostate cancer is present.
This test can aid physicians in distinguishing prostate cancer from benign prostate conditions in men who have an elevated PSA and negative digital rectal examination findings.
A prostate biopsy is required to make an absolute diagnosis of cancer.
The prostascint scan can be used to help detect if prostate cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or to other areas of the body. Lymph nodes that have been invaded by prostate cancer cells appear as "hot spots" on the test.
The test may help doctors determine whether the cancer has remained local, within the prostate, or if it has spread to lymph nodes anywhere in the body.
This scan can be useful in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer to help decide if surgery is necessary to remove the prostate.
The test can also help detect a return of prostate cancer in a patient with rising blood levels of PSA who has previously undergone surgery or radiation therapy.