A number of investigations need to be completed in order to determine a prostate cancer diagnosis, including:
This test can indicate the presence of red or white blood cells in the urine which may indicate other diseases of the urinary system or indicate the presence of infection. A urinary infection can increase PSA levels.
The haemoglobin level is checked and the different blood cells are looked at in detail under the microscope. Various forms of anaemia can be picked up via this test. It can also give an indication that the blood is clotting appropriately.
The levels of several liver enzymes rise markedly when the liver is damaged. This may be caused by infections like hepatitis or by toxins like alcohol, certain drugs and gall bladder disease such as gall stones. Protein and albumin levels are also measured as in chronic illnesses, the albumin level may fall to quite low levels.
This is a test to quantify kidney function. Impaired kidney function results in an elevation of serum urea or creatinine. Various salts in the bloodstream are called electrolytes and include sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. Importantly, people on diuretics or fluid tablets need to monitor their potassium levels.
A Prostate Health Index measures a patient’s blood for Free PSA, Total PSA and a new marker for prostate cancer called proPSA (p2PSA). It was found that when these tests were combined, p2PSA was present as a higher proportion in patients with prostate cancer. This calculation is known as a PHI.
The CT utilises X-rays to make a detailed image of the inside of your body. Many x-rays are taken in a short period of time and then combined with computer software to show structures within your body.
A multiparametric prostate MRI scan is an advanced form of computer imaging which looks in detail at the prostate and surrounding areas. MRI improves visualisation of the prostate, its substructure, surround tissues and most importantly focal lesions or cancer. This is a relatively new technology, is very sensitive and can detect up to 90% of significant prostate cancers.