CancerCare Manitoba
Diagnostic Tests

To help make an accurate diagnosis your physician may perform one or more of the following examinations:
  • Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) to examine the prostate gland. This is a simple examination in which the doctor will pass a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. Because the prostate is located just in front of the rectum, it can be easily felt. Your physician will be able to determine whether your prostate is enlarged, tender, has any lumps or firm areas which can suggest the presence of prostate cancer. If you have prostatitis, this examination may produce momentary discomfort but it causes neither damage nor significantly prolonged pain.
  • Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS) allows the physician requires a closer look at the prostate gland or decides that a biopsy is necessary; he may order a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), which allows him to visualize an ultrasonographic picture of the prostate gland.
  • Blood test for prostate specific antigen (PSA) maybe done to alert him/her to the possibility that you may have prostate cancer.

Your doctor may refer you to an Urologist who specializes in urinary tracts of males and females, and on the reproductive system of males. The urologist will repeat some of the examinations already performed by your physician.

He/she may also analyze various urine specimens as well as a prostatic fluid specimen obtained by massaging the prostate gland during DRE for signs of inflammation and infection. These samples will help your physician determine whether your problem is inflammation or infection and whether the problem is in your urethra, bladder, or prostate.

Other tests your urologist may consider employing are:
  • cystoscopy examination of the urethra, prostate, and bladder using a small telescope is passed through the urethra into the bladder
  • urine flow studies to measure the strength of your urine flow and to detect any obstructions caused by the prostate, urethra, or pelvic muscles