If your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) numbers are high (between four and 10), you have a higher risk of having prostate cancer. A high PSA also can indicate infection, inflammation, or an enlarged prostate.

With a thorough history and physical exam, your doctor will consider past PSA levels and other factors to determine next steps. If there is a suspicion of cancer, your doctor will most likely recommend that you have a biopsy.

A biopsy is removal of a small sample of tissue for further study. Our urologists typically use a biopsy needle to remove tissue from the prostate during an outpatient procedure.

Our pathologists thoroughly study the tissue sample under a microscope to identify whether cancer is present and the type of cancer – particularly whether it’s an aggressive or slow-growing cancer.

If cancer is found, doctors assign a Gleason score, ranging from two to 10, to indicate how likely the cancer is to spread. The lower the score, the less likely the cancer will spread.

Tests we offer at Premier Health that provide more precise biopsy information include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which creates an image of the prostate, making it easier for our doctors to take prostate tissue from the correct area during a biopsy.
  • MRI with fusion-guided biopsy, an advanced imaging technique performed at Miami Valley Hospital South that precisely targets the area of the prostate that requires a biopsy. During the biopsy, both MRI and ultrasound are used to pinpoint the concerning area of the prostate.
  • Gene expression testing (also known as genomic testing) is performed on tissue obtained during your prostate biopsy. The results may be very powerful in predicting how cancer cells will grow and behave. This information helps us to formulate a more customized treatment plan.

Another tool we use is transrectal ultrasound. The doctor inserts a probe the size of a finger into your rectum. High-energy sound waves (ultrasound) bounce off your prostate to create an image that allows doctors to detect abnormalities in the prostate.

The knowledge your physician gains during a biopsy or imaging tests provides the basis for your treatment plan. We will discuss the results with you and bring in appropriate specialists on our cancer team to create an effective approach for your individual situation.


Contact Us

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.