The Princess Margaret - Prostate Ultrasound and Biopsy centre
A prostate biopsy is a procedure to take some small samples of the prostate gland for examination under a microscope to look for cancerous cells.
Each biopsy involves obtaining multiple tissue samples, known as cores, from different regions of the prostate. Usually approximately 10 - 12 cores are taken during a biopsy. This is an integral step in the diagnosis and accurate staging of prostate cancer.
In order to locate the prostate within the body, either ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging is used. The images of prostate ultrasound to the right show both a normal prostate and one with prostate cancer. These kinds of images help the technicians to see where they need to place the needle during a prostate biopsy.
To access the prostate, the biopsy may be performed by crossing the rectum as in the case of trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsy, or by crossing the perineum in MRI-guided biopsy protocols. Currently TRUS guided biopsy is used at the Princess Margaret.
It is common and normal to see a small amount of bleeding in the urine, stool, or semen (ejaculate) after biopsy. This can last up to 6 weeks.
After your biopsy there are no restrictions to diet or sexual activity. Avoid heavy physical activity for at least 24 hours.
It is unusual to have any trouble after the biopsy, but as with all medical procedures, there is the risk of complications. Urinary tract infection, prostatitis, fever and septicemia have been reported in rare cases. If you develop a fever, increasing pain or any other problem that concerns you, please call your doctor or go to the local hospital emergency department.