Doctors diagnose prostate cancer by checking for symptoms and ordering a biopsy. Other tests may be used to ascertain the progression of the condition. Prostate cancer is a condition in which malignant cells develop in the tissues of the prostate, notes the National Cancer Institute.
The prostate is a gland that makes up part of the male reproductive organ. When malignant cells form in this gland, the individual affected is said to have prostate cancer. This type of cancer is often staged according to the extent to which it has spread and the damage it has already caused, notes the American Cancer Society. There are four stages of this condition: stage I, stage II, stage III and stage IV.
Individuals with prostate cancer experience various symptoms including a frequent urge to urinate and trouble starting the flow of urine. Other signs include blood in the urine, painful sensation while passing urine, difficulty emptying the bladder and weak flow of urine.
Doctors often ask patients regarding the symptoms they have experienced during the initial stages of diagnosis. The doctor may carry out a physical examination before ordering a biopsy.
A biopsy is a test that uses a tissue sample from the prostate to verify the presence of cancer. Other imaging tests including computerized tomography digital rectal exam and MRI may be used to put the condition into proper perspective for effective treatment.