Prostate Biopsy Accuracy

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

A biopsy is a procedure that is used to collect tissue from an organ or a part of the body. It is an invasive procedure that involves the use of a specialized needle that is inserted into the organ. The needle used in a biopsy procedure is thick and causes pain when it is inserted. In some cases, particularly in those with access difficulty, an open surgery biopsy may be conducted. For most biopsy procedures, local anesthesia is adequate as it numbs the area around the incision and sample collection sites. A biopsy is conducted after a tumor has been seen on an imaging scan or after a component in a blood or urine test is found to be elevated. Many cancers cause elevations to occur in the level of various components in the blood. These elevations may occur for other reasons but they are generally associated with cancer. A biopsy test is completely accurate when it is able to access cells from a cancer tumor.

The prostate gland is a gland associated with the male reproductive system. It is responsible for the production of an alkaline fluid that is useful to negate the effects of the acidic nature of the female reproductive tract. The prostate gland also has muscles which are responsible for boosting pressure during ejaculation. These are both secondary functions of the male reproductive system but they are both essential for the process of fertilization to have a chance of being successful.

When it comes to a prostate biopsy, there are issues associated with the prostate biopsy accuracy. The accuracy of a biopsy in such a small organ is complicated. In a larger organ, a tumor is easily visible through an imaging device or may be felt during a physical examination. For the prostate, the cancer cells tend are smaller and may not show up in imagining scans. Thus, a prostate biopsy suffers from the problem of hit-and-miss. If the needle is able to collect a sample from an area that is affected by cancer, then it is accurate for a diagnosis. However, it should be known that a negative test result from a prostate biopsy cannot be used to rule out cancer, it can only be used to suggest that there is no cancer. Another problem plaguing the prostate biopsy accuracy is the use of flexible needles. A hardened area with cancer cells may deflect the needle, thus reducing the chances of the tumor cells being captured for analysis.

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