What is a prostate ultrasound and biopsy, and why would you need one?

The prostate is the part of your body that makes fluid for semen, which is the fluid that carries sperm. The gland surrounds part of your urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and sperm outside of the body. The prostate has muscles that move the sperm out of the body.

If you are having problems with your prostate, you might be having difficulties related to pushing urine or sperm out of your urethra and penis. Your healthcare provider may ask you to have a prostate ultrasound and biopsy to check for prostate cancer.

A prostate ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum and uses sound waves to produce images inside the rectum to help image the prostate and guide the doctor in taking a biopsy (tissue sample) of the prostate gland. Prostate ultrasound and biopsy are used to diagnose prostate cancer or to find the reason for other problems. A doctor may require this test if a patient has high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) found in a blood test, or has an abnormal prostate exam both suggesting that the patient may have a high risk for prostate cancer.

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