Prostate Disease

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and now my doctor wants an MRI– what new information will the MRI provide?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I recently had a prostate biopsy and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Now my doctor wants to do an MRI. Why? What new information will the MRI provide?

DEAR READER: I can understand why you're puzzled. A biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing prostate cancer, so why do you need any other test?

I have elevated PSA levels and am scheduled for a prostate biopsy — what can I expect?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I recently had a PSA test and my levels came back elevated. I'm scheduled to have a prostate biopsy. What can I expect?

DEAR READER: The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is a screening test designed to detect prostate cancer before symptoms develop. An elevated PSA value can suggest that cancer may be present. But only a prostate biopsy can confirm the actual presence of cancer.

Urinary symptom score

This urinary symptom score from the American Urological Association helps to evaluate the severity of your benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and determine what treatment, if any, might be best for you.

Do I need to seek treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have BPH. I have some urinary symptoms, but because I work from home they're not difficult to manage. Is there any danger in not actively treating my condition?

DEAR READER: Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the most common cause of prostate enlargement. As the name suggests, BPH is harmless; it does not lead to prostate cancer. Up to two-thirds of men with BPH never develop any symptoms. Others find that BPH can make life miserable. You seem to be somewhere in between.