signpost iconHow prostate cancer is diagnosed

Authors: Macmillan Cancer Support

Bottom Line:

An overview of the methods to diagnose, grade and stage prostate cancer

Publication details:

The following topics are covered:

  • Digital rectal examination (DRE)
  • PSA test
  • At the hospital
  • Trans-rectal ultrasound scan (TRUS)
  • Biopsy
  • Cytoscopy
  • X-rays
  • Isotope bone scan
  • CT (computerised tomography) scan
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan

We assessed this page using an appraisal instrument developed by Minervation specifically for this project. This approach is still in development, so you should regard the assessments as a general guide. Click here to find out more, or to let us know how you think the approach could be improved.

Reliability comments:

  • No references cited
  • Website content is checked by relevant experts
  • The site is certified by The Information Standard and a detailed, evidence-based content development and review policy is spelled out.
  • The content is regularly reviewed.

Usability comments:

  • A brief introductory summary would be useful
  • Good use of subheadings
  • The search engine has much improved
  • Extensive Help is available.
  • For some reason, the site design does not support the "Visited Link" property, meaning that you can't tell if you've previously visited a page before linking to it.


Item Score
Is it clear who has developed the web site and what their objectives are? 3
Does the site report a robust quality control procedure? 3
There is a clear description of the editorial policy on the web site. The site content conforms to the Information Standard.
Is the page content checked by an expert? 3
Website content is checked by relevant experts
Is the page updated regularly? 2
Last content update on 1 February 2010.
Does the page cite relevant sources where appropriate? 1
No references cited
Item Score
Is the site accessible without a login? 3
Does the site conform to web Accessibility standards? 3
Lida score 100%
Is the site design clear and transparent? 2
Text contrast is poor in some sections.
Is the site design consistent from one page to another? 3
Can users find what they need on the site? 3
The search has much improved.
Is the format of information clear and appropriate for the audience? 2
Good use of subheadings. A brief introductory summary would be useful
Weighted total (Usability + (Reliability x 2)): 40
We score each question out of three where:
0 = Never or Can't tell
1 = Sometimes or partly
2 = Mostly
3 = Always

Date rated


Macmillan Cancer Support





Publication Type



Web page


4.5 stars


5 stars

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