Whether you’re doing active surveillance or currently undergoing treatment for your prostate cancer, you’ll most likely need regular tests along the way to make sure your treatment is working and the cancer isn’t growing. See below for the tests you can expect and when you may need to schedule them.
Routine blood tests (including CBC [complete blood count], blood chemistry and tests for blood lipids, blood sugar and sex hormone levels): Blood tests can indicate anemia (low red blood cells), neutropenia (low white blood cells) and low platelets, which can tell your doctor if you are able to receive treatment. Also, tests for changes in lipid (blood fats), blood sugar and androgen (male hormone) levels may be used to monitor changes in your body during hormone therapy.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA): Ask your healthcare provider if your PSA levels should be regularly tracked to indicate whether your treatment is working.
X-rays: Used to show tumors in the body.
Axumin scan: A PET scan that is capable of early detection of recurrent prostate cancer after treatment.
CT scan (CAT scan, or computerized axial tomography): An imaging technique that provides detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A scan that uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to display detailed pictures of inside the body.
Ultrasound: A test that uses sound waves.
Seminal vesicle biopsy: Tissue samples from seminal vesicles (glands that produce semen) using a needle to ascertain the presence of cancer cells.