How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
The most common way to check for prostate cancer is to have a digital rectal exam, in which the doctor puts a gloved, lubricated finger in your rectum to feel your prostate, and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. A higher level of PSA may mean that you have prostate cancer, but it could also mean that you have an enlargement or infection of the prostate.
If your PSA is high, or if your doctor finds anything in the rectal exam, he or she may do a biopsy to figure out the cause. A biopsy means your doctor takes a sample of tissue from your prostate gland and sends it to a lab for testing.
Because many men have regular checkups, about 9 out of 10 prostate cancers are found in the early stages. The 5-year survival rate is almost 100%.1 The 5-year survival rate shows the percentage of men still alive 5 years or longer after diagnosis. It’s important to remember that everyone’s case is different, and these numbers may not show what will happen in your case.