Biopsy is an essential part of the definitive diagnosis of your prostate cancer. Sometimes this procedure can be a source of anxiety and concern.
So what should you expect when you are told you that you need to undergo a biopsy?
What to do in the days before the biopsy.
- Be sure to let your doctor know about any major medical conditions that you have. Most importantly, any type of heart or lung disease needs to be brought up.
- Give your doctor a full list of your medications. Pay special attention to make sure that all medications that thin the blood are listed. Coumadin (or warfarin), plavix (clopidogrel), aspirin, and heparin are a few of the common blood thinners that you need to alert your physician that you take. Your physician will likely have you stop taking these prior to the procedure to minimize the risk of bleeding.
What to expect the day of the procedure.
What to expect during the procedure.
What to expect after the procedure.
- The biopsy samples will be sent to a laboratory where a pathologist will determine if cancer or another condition is present.
- Your physician will give you specific instructions about what you need to do after your procedure, but usually he/she will instruct you to resume eating normal foods, continue the course of antibiotics that was prescribed, drink extra water over the ensuing few days in an effort to further clean out your urinary system, and to continue NOT taking any blood thinners you were told to stop prior to the procedure (at least for a few days following the procedure).
What you could experience after the procedure.
- Some men have rectal soreness for a few days. This can be alleviated with warm soaks or compresses to the area.
- Some men experience light bleeding or spots of blood in their stool, urine, or semen. If the amount of bleeding is small and it stops after a few days, this is considered normal.