Digital rectal examination of the prostate

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test

The prostate naturally produces a substance called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) which can be measured in the blood. If the PSA is low, prostate cancer is unlikely. High levels might mean the prostate is big, inflamed, infected or has cancer. 

Thresholds for PSA by age are shown below:


multi-parametric MRI scan (mpMRI)

Prostate cancer risk calculator

No one test on its own can tell if you have significant prostate cancer, and even MRI is not conclusive. Many factors need to be put together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.  Sometimes, it’s obvious cancer is present, e.g. if the PSA is high, the prostate feels hard and the MRI looks clearly abnormal. At other times, it’s less clear as the MRI can be slightly abnormal, you’re young, the prostate feels normal, you’ve had a prostate biopsy before, and the PSA is only borderline raised or even low.  

Biopsy of the prostate

What happens next?

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