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Prostate Gland Needle Biopsy


  • A prostate gland needle biopsy is a procedure to remove samples of tissue from your prostate gland. Your prostate gland is the male sex gland that makes the fluid part of your semen (fluid containing sperm). Your prostate gland is found below your bladder and surrounds the top of your urethra. Your urethra is a tube that carries urine outside your body. You may need a prostate biopsy if your prostate felt abnormal during a rectal exam. You may also need a prostate biopsy if you have a high prostate specific antigen (PSA) level. A high PSA level may mean your prostate gland is enlarged or you have an infection. A high PSA level may also be a sign of prostate cancer.
    Picture of male reproductive system
  • During your procedure, a needle is used to take samples of tissue from your prostate gland. A prostate gland biopsy may help you learn the cause of your prostate problem. Learning the cause of your prostate problem will allow you to get proper treatment. If you have prostate cancer, the sooner it is found, the easier it may be to treat. Learning you have prostate cancer and getting treatment may help prevent the cancer from spreading.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

  • Blood tests will be done to check your PSA level. Your PSA level shows caregivers if you are still at risk for prostate cancer. You will need rectal exams to check the size and shape of your prostate gland. Ask your caregiver when, and how often, you need blood tests and rectal exams. You may need another prostate gland biopsy if you are at high risk for prostate cancer. If your biopsy showed cancer cells, you may need imaging tests to check if the cancer has spread. Imaging tests include bone scans, x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Ask your caregiver for information about these and other tests you may need.

Decrease the fat in your diet:

Eat foods low in animal fat and saturated fats to help decrease your risk for prostate cancer.

Limit alcohol:

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Drinking too much can damage your brain, heart, and liver. The risk of getting certain types of cancer is greater for people who drink too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol also increases the risk of having a stroke. Men should limit alcohol to two drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine. One and one-half ounces of liquor, such as whiskey, is one drink of alcohol. If you drink alcohol, talk with your caregiver if you need help to stop.

Take vitamins:

Vitamins D and E, and the nutrients lycopene, isoflavone, and selenium, may help decrease your prostate cancer risk. Follow your caregiver's advice about the vitamins and nutrients you should take, and how often. Ask your caregiver how much of each vitamin and nutrient you should take each day.

Treatment for cancer:

If your prostate biopsy showed cancer, you may need cancer treatment. Some prostate cancers do not need treatment right away. Your caregiver may watch for changes in your PSA level and rectal exams before starting treatment. Ask your caregiver for more information about the following treatments for prostate cancer:

  • Hormone therapy: Hormone medicine may be given to help shrink an enlarged prostate gland and slow the disease. You may have hormone therapy with radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: This medicine, often called chemo, is used to treat cancer. It works by killing tumor cells. Many different chemotherapy medicines are used to treat cancer. You may need blood tests often. These blood tests show how your body is doing and how much chemotherapy you need. Chemotherapy can have many side effects. Caregivers watch you closely and work with you to decrease side effects.
  • Radiation: Radiation shrinks tumors and kills cancer cells with x-rays or gamma rays. Radiation may be given after surgery to kill cancer cells that were not removed. It may also be given alone or with chemotherapy to treat cancer.
  • Surgery: You may have surgery to remove your prostate gland if the cancer has not spread to other areas.


  • You cannot get an erection (hardening of the penis).
  • You feel pain or burning when you urinate.
  • You feel weak, and your face is hot and red.
  • You have a fever (increased body temperature) and chills.
  • You see blood in your urine, bowel movements (BMs), or semen.
  • Your urine is cloudy and smells bad.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure or condition.


  • You are bleeding from your rectum.
  • You are urinating very little or not at all.
  • You have pain from your procedure that does not get better, even after taking pain medicines.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.