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Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Tools and Tests

Cancer specialists at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center use the most advanced techniques and tools for diagnosing prostate cancer. We are actively researching better and more precise ways to detect prostate cancer.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

If physicians suspect prostate cancer, they perform a medical exam, including a digital rectal exam, and/or a prostate-specific antigen test. If these tests suggest prostate cancer, they may order further tests such as a prostate biopsy, in which a sample of tissue is removed from the prostate and examined under a microscope by a pathologist to determine if the cells are suspicious. 

Other tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • A combination of the above, such as a MRI-ultrasound fusion biopsy