A prostate biopsy is a procedure where a doctor removes small tissue samples from the prostate to test for cancer.
Should a patient show potential symptom of prostate cancer, such as blood in semen, difficulty urinating, issues getting or keeping an erection, or blood tests that show a high amount of prostate specific antigen, a doctor may conduct a prostate biopsy.
There are two most commonly used methods to conduct a biopsy, and you and your doctor will discuss which one works best for you. For both cases, patients will lie on their sides, and will be asked to bring their knees up towards the chest area, and will be given numbing cream or anesthetic for the area.
The most common method of obtaining tissue is by inserting a needle through the rectum and into the prostate and extracting cells from various parts of the area. Otherwise, the less common method is to make a small cut into the perineum (area between the scrotum and anus) and insert a needle into the prostate to collect the tissue. The cells are then sent to a laboratory that will test for cancer cells, which will then determine the next course of action.
Side effects of the procedure include blood in urine, blood in semen, and bleeding from the rectum. Some may also experience mild soreness and light bruising in the area. While temporary, these side effects can last a few days to a few weeks. Patients are usually able to return home the same day as the procedure occurs, with antibiotics and over the counter pain medication to manage any discomfort.