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A biopsy is the collection of a sampling of cells or tissue from the body so that a detailed microscopic evaluation can be made in the laboratory by a pathologist. For patients being evaluated for advanced stage prostate cancer, an in-house biopsy of tissue from the prostate to gauge the stage and growth characteristics of the disease may be performed using a transrectal prostate ultrasound and biopsy. During this procedure, an ultrasound probe will be placed in the rectum to obtain a view of the area being examined, and a small needle loaded into the probe captures small slices of suspicious tissue. This test is repeated to acquire between 10-15 samples for evaluation.

A transrectal prostate ultrasound and biopsy takes about 10-20 minutes, and may result in some tenderness of the rectum area for approximately one hour after the procedure. There may also be some blood in the urine and stool for several days to weeks, and usually blood in the semen as well.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Prostate

Because advance prostate cancer has metastasized, or spread beyond the prostate to other part of the body, your physician may recommend a lymph node biopsy to determine the extent of the spread and the severity of the disease. The lymph node is, where cancer cells may move to first after they have left the prostate. For prostate cancer, the lymph nodes are located in the pelvic region.

The lymph nodes can be taken out, cut into very thin slices, and looked at under a microscope at the time of surgery. If a sentinel node is positive for cancer cells, more surgery may be needed to remove more lymph nodes. Other tests, such as a culture, genetic tests, or immunological tests, may be done on the lymph node sample.

Because of the location of the lymph node, your procedure may have to be done either laparoscopically or by open surgery, rather than through a transrectal ultrasound. Your Skyline Urology physician will work with you to determine the best method of evaluating your advanced prostate cancer.