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How Long Do Prostate Biopsy Results Take

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Who Interprets The Results And How Do I Get Them

How soon after a prostate cancer biopsy are results available? (Robert Donnell, MD)

A pathologist examines the removed tissue specimens and makes a final diagnosis. The results usually are available to your physician within a few days of the procedure. The time it takes may vary based on the complexity of the examination, preparation time for the specimens, need for a second opinion and other factors.

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What Is A Prostate Biopsy

The prostate gland is found only in males. It sits below the bladder andwraps around the urethra . Theprostate helps make semen.

A biopsy is a procedure used to remove a small piece of tissue or cellsfrom the body so it can be examined under a microscope.

In a prostate biopsy, prostate gland tissue is taken out with a biopsyneedle or during surgery. The tissue is checked to see if there are canceror other abnormal cells in the prostate gland.

A prostate biopsy may be done in several different ways:

  • Transrectal method. This is done through the rectum and is the most common.

  • Perineal method. This is done through the skin between the scrotum and the rectum.

  • Transurethral method. This is done through the urethra using a cystoscope .

Ultrasound is usually used to look at the prostate gland and guide thebiopsy needle.

Tests To Diagnose And Stage Prostate Cancer

Most prostate cancers are first found as a result of screening. Early prostate cancers usually dont cause symptoms, but more advanced cancers are sometimes first found because of symptoms they cause.

If prostate cancer is suspected based on results of screening tests or symptoms, tests will be needed to be sure. If youre seeing your primary care doctor, you might be referred to a urologist, a doctor who treats cancers of the genital and urinary tract, including the prostate.

The actual diagnosis of prostate cancer can only be made with a prostate biopsy .

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Additional Tests That May Aid Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

There are few other diagnostic tools or tests, which can be performed before you have a prostate biopsy, that may help your physician gather more information about your specific case. These procedures may help determine the likelihood of the presence of cancer and its aggressiveness and increase the accuracy of a biopsy when performed. Those tests include:

4Kscore blood test is a molecular test that helps predict the likelihood and risk of a patient having aggressive prostate cancer. If you’re a patient whose PSA values are borderline for a prostate biopsy or you have a condition that could be aggravated by a biopsy, your physician may use this test before to help determine whether you should get a biopsy or a repeat biopsy.

Urine sample testlooks for biomarkers that may indicate the presence of prostate cancer cells in a patient’s body. This test may also be helpful when trying to determine whether a patient should be rebiopsied or not.

Multiparametric MRI

The use of multiparametric MRI imaging of the prostate gland before a biopsy has been a game changer in prostate cancer diagnosis, increasing the accuracy of biopsies over standard biopsies. The mpMRI doesn’t replace the standard biopsy, but by improving its accuracy, it may help decrease the number of biopsies needed.

The mpMRI has a higher resolution than a standard prostate ultrasound. This increases the ability to see suspicious lesions in the prostate, providing additional targets for the biopsy to sample.

Is There An Alternative To A Prostate Biopsy

How long does it take for biopsy results?

Prostate cancer enzyme tests A newer blood test is the 4Kscore test, which measures a persons risk of prostate cancer. This test does not completely replace the need for a biopsy, but it can help identify who should have one. As a result, it may help doctors reduce the number of people who have biopsies.

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Need To Look At More Tissue

For most large samples, only selected areas are processed and examined under the microscope. After the first sections of tissue are seen under the microscope, the pathologist might want to look at more sections for an accurate diagnosis. In these cases, extra pieces of tissue might need processing. Or the lab may need to make more slices of the tissue that has already been embedded in wax blocks. Either case can add 1or 2 days to the testing time.

Imaging Tests For Prostate Cancer

Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. One or more imaging tests might be used:

  • To look for cancer in the prostate
  • To help the doctor see the prostate during certain procedures
  • To look for spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body

Which tests you might need will depend on the situation. For example, a prostate biopsy is typically done with transrectal ultrasound and/or MRI to help guide the biopsy. If you are found to have prostate cancer, you might need imaging tests of other parts of your body to look for possible cancer spread.

The imaging tests used most often to look for prostate cancer spread include:

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How Long Does A Prostate Biopsy Results Take

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How Is The Biopsy Procedure Performed

Prostate Biopsy: What You Should Know – Urology Care Foundation

Ultrasound-guided biopsy procedure:

The ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy is carried out by a radiologist or urologist, assisted by a sonographer and often a nurse who helps look after the patient.

You may have a small enema inserted into your rectum half an hour or so before the procedure to clean out your bowels and clear the rectum of feces so that the prostate may be seen more clearly with the ultrasound and to lower the risk of infection.

You may also be given antibiotics just before the procedure as an additional safeguard against infection. You also may receive medication for pain and anxiety. Sometimes an injection of local anesthetic or sedative will be given in the area of the rectum to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

The procedure is often carried out after you have been given a light general anesthetic, which means you will be asleep or sedated during the procedure. If the procedure is carried out using an anesthetic, an anesthesiologist will be present.

During the procedure, you will be asked to lie on your left side with your legs bent.

The physician will first carry out a DRE with a gloved finger.

An ultrasound probe will then be inserted into your rectum. The probe is sterilized, covered with condoms to ensure protection from any infection or contamination, and lubricated to help it glide easily into your rectum.

The entire ultrasound-guided biopsy procedure is usually completed within 45 minutes or less.

MRI-guided biopsy procedure:

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Positron Emission Tomography Scan

A PET scan is similar to a bone scan, in that a slightly radioactive substance is injected into the blood, which can then be detected with a special camera. But PET scans use different tracers that collect mainly in cancer cells. The most common tracer for standard PET scans is FDG, which is a type of sugar. Unfortunately, this type of PET scan isnt very useful in finding prostate cancer cells in the body.

However, newer tracers, such as fluciclovine F18, sodium fluoride F18, and choline C11, have been found to be better at detecting prostate cancer cells.

Other newer tracers, such as Ga 68 PSMA-11 and 18F-DCFPyl , attach to prostate-specific membrane antigen , a protein that is often found in large amounts on prostate cancer cells. Tests using these types of tracers are sometimes referred to as PSMA PET scans.

These newer types of PET scans are most often used if its not clear if prostate cancer has spread. For example, one of these tests might be done if the results of a bone scan arent clear, or if a man has a rising PSA level after initial treatment but its not clear where the cancer is in the body.

The pictures from a PET scan arent as detailed as MRI or CT scan images, but they can often show areas of cancer anywhere in the body. Some machines can do a PET scan and either an MRI or a CT scan at the same time, which can give more detail about areas that show up on the PET scan.

Isnt A Psa Test Enough

The prostate specific antigen test is a common screening test for prostate cancer. PSA is a protein that comes from the prostate gland. The test measures the amount of PSA in your blood. Its a simple blood test, and for some men, it turns out to be a lifesaver.

On the other hand, its value as a diagnostic tool is fairly limited. High PSA levels may be a sign of prostate cancer, but its not enough to diagnose the disease with certainty. Thats because there are other reasons your PSA levels could be high, including urinary tract infection and inflammation of the prostate.

Read more: PSA levels and prostate cancer staging »

Also, a single abnormally high PSA test result cant tell you if the high level is temporary or rising over time.

Low PSA levels cannot definitively rule out prostate cancer, either. The fact is that PSA tests can result in both false positives and false negatives.

PSA tests can be useful during and after treatment for prostate cancer. Rising PSA levels may signal that treatment is not effective or there is a recurrence of the cancer. If your PSA levels are decreasing, your current treatment is probably doing its job.

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Lymph Node Biopsy As A Separate Procedure

A lymph node biopsy is rarely done as a separate procedure. Its sometimes used when a radical prostatectomy isnt planned , but when its still important to know if the lymph nodes contain cancer.

Most often, this is done as a needle biopsy. To do this, the doctor uses an image to guide a long, hollow needle through the skin in the lower abdomen and into an enlarged node. The skin is numbed with local anesthesia before the needle is inserted to take a small tissue sample. The sample is then sent to the lab and looked at for cancer cells.

Use In Men Already Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

About the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score® Test ...

The PSA test can also be useful if you have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

  • In men just diagnosed with prostate cancer, the PSA level can be used together with physical exam results and tumor grade to help decide if other tests are needed.
  • The PSA level is used to help determine the stage of your cancer. This can affect your treatment options, since some treatments are not likely to be helpful if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • PSA tests are often an important part of determining how well treatment is working, as well as in watching for a possible recurrence of the cancer after treatment .

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What Are The Side Effects Of A Biopsy

Having a biopsy can cause side effects. These will affect each man differently, and you may not get all of the possible side effects.

Pain or discomfort

Some men feel pain or discomfort in their back passage for a few days after a TRUS biopsy. Others feel a dull ache along the underside of their penis or lower abdomen . If you have a transperineal biopsy, you may get some bruising and discomfort in the area where the needle went in for a few days afterwards.

If you receive anal sex, wait about two weeks, or until any pain or discomfort from your biopsy has settled, before having sex again. Ask your doctor or nurse at the hospital for further advice.

Some men find the biopsy painful, but others have only slight discomfort. Your nurse or doctor may suggest taking mild pain-relieving drugs, such as paracetamol, to help with any pain.

If you have any pain or discomfort that doesnt go away, talk to your nurse or doctor.

Short-term bleeding

Its normal to see a small amount of blood in your urine or bowel movements for about two weeks. You may also notice blood in your semen for a couple of months it might look red or dark brown. This is normal and should get better by itself. If it takes longer to clear up, or gets worse, you should see a doctor straight away.

Infection

Symptoms of a urine infection may include:

  • pain or a burning feeling when you urinate
  • dark or cloudy urine with a strong smell
  • needing to urinate more often than usual
  • pain in your lower abdomen .

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Having A Biopsy

Your doctor should talk to you about the advantages and disadvantages of having a biopsy. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your doctor or specialist nurse before you decide whether to have a biopsy.

Advantages

  • Its the only way to find out for certain if you have cancer inside your prostate.
  • It can help find out how aggressive any cancer might be in other words, how likely it is to spread.
  • It can pick up a faster growing cancer at an early stage, when treatment may prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
  • If you have prostate cancer, it can help your doctor or nurse decide which treatment options may be suitable for you.
  • If you have prostate cancer, youll usually need to have had a biopsy if you want to join a clinical trial in the future. This is because the researchers may need to know what your cancer was like when it was first diagnosed.

Disadvantages

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What To Watch For Afterward

Here are the most common complications of prostate biopsy:

  • Pain in the area between the anus and scrotum for a few days to a week.
  • Blood in your urine for a few days to several weeks.
  • Blood in the stool for a day or so. If it lasts longer, notify your physician.
  • Blood in the semen for three to six weeks, and possibly longer.

Make sure to notify your doctor if rectal or urinary bleeding get worse. Also, be on guard in the first 24 to 48 hours for signs of a serious infection in the urinary tract or prostate gland. “The alarm signs are fever or chills,” Dr. Garnick says. “If you experience this, get to a hospital immediately for intravenous antibiotics.” A runaway infection can be dangerous, so don’t ignore the signs.

Another uncommon but dangerous complication is urinary retentionthe inability to pass urine caused by an infection. Seek care immediately if you stop being able to urinate after a biopsy.

Prostate Cancer Biopsy Procedure Not Worth The Risk

Understanding your prostate biopsy results – Dr Jeremy Grummet

The prostate cancer biopsy procedure is a test done after prostate cancer screening with the controversial PSA test.

Most men will get a prostate problem and it is happening to men earlier and earlier than ever before. And thats a big problem because prostate problems will affect your life in a big way either with major symptoms that limit your lifestyle like problems peeing or sexual dysfunction or with what happens if you get a diagnosis of the big one Prostate Cancer.You just have to get informed about your prostate so you know what to do if this happens so you are not at the mercy of what your doctor says or your urologist. Why? because the side effects of conventional prostate testing and treatments can have dire consequences for you.You see, if you have any possibility of cancer from the PSA test, they will then test you with a prostate cancer biopsy. Also known as a prostate needle biopsy, the test itself can easily make things worse. But the doctor is protected from lawsuits because he did the approved test. If cancer is found from the prostate cancer biopsy, then he will opt for treatments like surgery to protect himself when in almost all cases it is best to do nothing!

Yes nothing even though you have prostate cancer. More and more studies show that doing prostate cancer treatments does not increase your life expectancy and can have severe side effects like having to wear diapers or no more sex.

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What Is Ultrasound

Ultrasound- and MRI-guided prostate biopsies are performed to collect tissue samples from the prostate gland for examination by a pathologist to determine whether or not the tissue is cancerous.

Biopsies are most commonly performed under ultrasound guidance. During the procedure, a special biopsy needle is inserted into the prostate gland through the wall of the rectum to remove several small samples of tissue for pathologic analysis. This method is known as transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy.

The prostate may also be accessed through the perineum . This method is known as the transperineal approach and may be used for one of several reasons:

  • if cancer is suspected at the front of the prostate gland too far away from the rectum for TRUS
  • if transrectal ultrasound is not feasible due to prior rectal surgery
  • for some mapping biopsies

Prostate biopsies can also be performed utilizing information from MR imaging, which provides more detailed images of the prostate than is possible with ultrasound. Before the biopsy, prostate MR images are examined, sometimes also with the help ofcomputer-aided detection software to pinpoint specific areas that may require further evaluation. MRI-guided in-bore biopsy can be performed using either a transperineal or transrectal approach. Both methods typically utilize software to guide the course of the needle to the desired position within the prostate.

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