A prostate biopsy, also known as a core needle biopsy or a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), is used to determine if any suspicious looking tissues are cancerous or not. A biopsy is conducted when an abnormal lump is found during a digital rectal exam (DRE) or if the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test reveals high levels of PSA.

Prostate Cancer Canada graciously acknowledges the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for sharing this video with us.
How is a biopsy performed?
  • You will be given a local anesthetic. 
  • A biopsy needle and ultrasound probe is then inserted into your rectum. Your doctor will use the ultrasound as a visual aid to help him/her guide the needle through your rectum. The needle quickly pierces through the rectal wall, enters the prostate and removes a tissue sample.
  • 8-12 samples will be taken depending on the area to be examined.
  • Procedure lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. 
What can I expect after the procedure?
Everyone responds differently to procedures. Following a prostate biopsy, it is common to experience the following:
  • Bleeding from your rectum or penis
  • Blood in the stool, urine or semen
  • Pain
These common symptoms may persist for 2 weeks or more. If you have concerns about these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor.


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