Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affects men, second only to skin cancer. In fact, every year, approximately 174,650 American men receive a prostate cancer diagnosis. At his Phoenix, Arizona-based practice, Dr. Shawn Blick, a men’s health expert, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. If you’re concerned about your risk of prostate cancer, make an appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.
To diagnose prostate cancer, Dr. Blick offers three types of screening tests: a digital rectal exam (DRE), a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a biopsy.
During a DRE, Dr. Blick carefully inserts a gloved finger into your rectum to physically examine your prostate. When Dr. Blick performs a DRE he is looking at the shape, size, and texture of your prostate.
PSA is a blood test that Dr. Blick performs in order to screen for prostate cancer. PSA is an enzyme produced by your prostate. Elevated PSA levels indicate a higher risk of prostate cancer, however, it can also be caused by an enlarged prostate, prostate infection or inflammation.
If Dr. Blick identifies abnormalities in either your rectal exam or PSA, he may recommend a further test like a routine needle biopsy. For a needle biopsy, Dr. Blick will randomly sample 12 cores of your prostate with a needle to see if there are any areas of cancer.
Dr. Blick may even utilize an advanced type of testing called a MRI Fusion biopsy. An MRI Fusion biopsy is used when a previous prostate biopsy came up negative but PSA levels continue to rise. It may also be offered to patients with prostate cancer that are on active surveillance. A MRI Fusion biopsy uses MRI imaging to allow Dr. Blick to see the specific area he needs to target for the biopsies. It can identify and target the parts of the prostate that need treatment, allowing for an earlier diagnosis.