Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
- Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine stream
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes of the pelvis. Or it may spread throughout the body. It tends to spread to the bones. So bone pain, especially in the back, can be a symptom of advanced prostate cancer.
What Is A Prostate Exam
The prostate exam, or digital rectal exam , allows your healthcare provider to check on the health of your prostate gland. Some providers have used it as an element of prostate cancer screening.
After reviewing several studies, experts now recommend against using the prostate exam in prostate cancer screening because the DRE may not be effective for prostate cancer screening. However, many healthcare providers still use it for other purposes or combined with the PSA test for prostate cancer screening .
The;prostate gland;sits just in front of the rectum. Your healthcare provider can reach it by gently inserting a finger in the rectum via the anus. Theyll manually feel your prostate to look for larger than usual areas, lumps, hard spots, tenderness, or any other problems. While performing the DRE, the healthcare provider can also check for other issues in or around the rectum, like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, blood in the stool, etc.
What Do The Dre Results Mean
A digital rectal examination is a test used to see if you might have a prostate problem or prostate cancer.
Your prostate may feel:
- normal; a normal size for your age with a smooth surface
- larger;than expected for your age; this could be a sign of an;enlarged prostate
- hard;or lumpy; this could be a sign of prostate cancer.
The DRE is not a completely accurate test. Your doctor or nurse cant feel the whole prostate. And a man with prostate cancer might have a prostate that feels normal.
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What Are We Looking For
Many men experience issues with their prostate gland as they age. The symptoms for benign;prostate enlargement and prostate cancer are very similar – most men present first with urinary issues. When your prostate has simply enlarged the surface is usually smooth. We begin to suspect prostate cancer when the surface is hard and lumpy. It’s a key difference and the best way to find out is via a rectal exam.
How Are Digital Rectal Exams Performed
There are two different methods for performing a digital rectal examination: side-lying or standing.
In the standing practice, you will lean forward, flexing at the hip, with your forearms supported on the table. In the side-lying method, you will be on the table on your side, with your knees pulled up towards your chest.
For both scenarios, your health care practitioner will be inserting a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectal canal to assess the health of the prostate as well as the rectum itself.
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Howard Wolinsky Looks For The Evidence And Doesn’t Find Much
Like most men, I’ll never forget my first time.
I was 50-ish. On command, I dropped my drawers and bent over the examining table. I heard the snap of the gloves and I felt some resistance as an index finger was inserted in my taut rectum for the dreaded digital rectal exam . I squirmed a little.
Next thing I knew, my family doctor was exploring my until-then-ignored, invisible-to-me prostate gland, looking for unusual bumps and textures. The rest is a blur.
The verdict? “It’s small but just wait,” the doctor told me authoritatively.
As it happens, she was wrong. My prostate never got large. But “small” doesn’t mean I escaped carefree. About seven years later, my prostate-specific antigen scan, not something to which I paid much attention, suddenly rose to nearly 4 ng/mL and a biopsy was performed, the first of several over the years since 2010. I had a near-microscopic cancer in a single core — 1 mm long, with a low-risk Gleason 6. Seen once, never seen again.
I go to the urologist twice a year. We chat about PSA results and then it’s time for another DRE. I once wrote a story about researchers working with female primates who were trained to present for gynecologic tests. I feel something like that undergoing my biennial DREs.
DREs were a key to diagnosing prostate cancer maybe back 30, 40 years ago before the era of PSAs and magnetic resonance exams.
Most doctors take the attitude of why not perform the DRE? It won’t hurt and might help.
With A Massager Strap
If youre playing with sex toys, you can really mix it up by playing with the different vibration settings, as well as pressure and depth.
- Pressure. Controlling pressure when using a toy is easier, especially when youre playing solo. Try pressing the toy against the prostate using more or less pressure till you find your sweet spot.
- Depth. Depth is another area where toys win out since reaching can make it hard to go deep, if thats what you crave. Try different sized anal toys or get a longer one that you can insert as deep as your bottom desires.
- Vibrations. You can buy prostate massagers that offer up multiple speed and pulse settings. Play with the different settings to find your preference. Up the vibes as you get closer to orgasm.
- Sensation. Some prostate massagers have an attached external stimulator to give your perineum some sweet lovin while the other end penetrates. Who doesnt love a hard worker?
Want a little more?
If your partner has a penis, you can kick things up a notch with penis-in-anus penetration. Prostate stimulation for you, penile stimulation for them and a happy ending for you both.
Different positions can make reaching and pleasuring the prostate easier. These positions work for external and internal prostate stimulation, alone and with a partner.
Tests Used To Check The Prostate
This first step lets your doctor hear and understand the “story” of your prostate concerns. You’ll be asked whether you have symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and how much they affect your lifestyle. Your personal medical history also includes any risk factors, pain, fever, or trouble passing urine. You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing.
How Is The Test Performed
To perform a DRE, your doctor will gently insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your anus. This allows them to feel for any abnormalities. For example, an enlarged prostate feels like a bulge behind the rectum wall. Prostate cancer may feel like bumps on the normally smooth surface of the prostate.
Men may feel pain or the urge to urinate during the exam. This is because your doctor is applying firm pressure to the prostate.
A DRE is typically done as part of a routine physical examination for both men and women. During a gynecological exam, your doctor may perform a DRE to check the space between the rectum and the vagina for any abnormalities. Most men and women feel only minor discomfort during the procedure. People with hemorrhoids or anal fissures may experience a small amount of bleeding.
A DRE isnt suitable for detecting colon cancer. Only a small portion of the lower colon may be accessed during a DRE. However, a DRE may be used to obtain a stool sample. If blood is present in the stool, it may indicate colon cancer or other problems.
Blood isnt always visible to the naked eye in a stool sample, so your doctor may wish to conduct a fecal occult blood test to confirm.
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What Does This Exam Feel Like
A digital rectal exam is uncomfortable. You may feel the urge to have a bowel movement in the process of the examination, but not to worry!
This is considered a normal sensation, and you wont actually have one. Similarly, you may feel the urge to urinate during palpation of the prostate gland. But chances are you dont actually need to urinate.
What Does The Psa Test Involve
The PSA test involves taking a blood sample and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The results indicate:
Normal levels: Most healthy adult males have PSA levels below 4 nanograms per milliliter .
Borderline levels: PSA levels of 4â10 ng/ml are borderline. There is a 1 in 4 chance that cancer is present.
High levels: If PSA levels are over 10 ng/ml, there is a 50% chance that the person has prostate cancer. The specialist will likely recommend more testing, including a prostate biopsy.
It is important to note that PSA levels can naturally vary from person to person. A person with high levels may not have prostate cancer. On the other hand, about 15% of people who test positive for prostate cancer after a biopsy have PSA levels below 4 ng/ml.
Prostate cancer is not the only cause of high PSA levels. Find out more about the other causes here.
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Is It Easy To Orgasm This Way
Lets say it may take some practice and patience.
Actual clinical research on prostate-induced orgasms is seriously lacking, so we dont know how common it is or if its possible for everyone with a prostate to have this type of orgasm.
Every body is different, so some experimenting to see what feels good is in order. If you do manage to have one, reproducing it will be easy.
What If We Find Something
A rectal exam can give us an indication that cancer may be present but discovering a lump is not a cancer diagnosis. If the examiner finds the surface of your prostate to be hard and lumpy or your PSA levels are higher than expected you may be referred for additional tests. If you haven’t already seen a Consultant Urologist they may conduct another rectal exam to check the GP’s initial assessment.
The next step is usually to have an MRI scan so an image of your prostate can be examined. If necessary, you may then be referred for a biopsy to take a sample from your prostate.;Even then, finding cancer cells in your prostate doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need cancer treatment. Find out more on the truth about prostate cancer diagnosis;here.
*Reference: NHS England
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What Happens After The Dre
If any abnormalities are found during the DRE, the doctor may order more tests and possibly schedule a prostate biopsy to see if there are any signs of cancer present.
If there are no signs of prostate cancer found during screening, the results of the PSA blood test may help to determine the time between future prostate cancer screenings. PSA levels vary by age and other factors.
Ultimately, you and your doctor will decide how often you should be screened since your diet, health and lifestyle habits are all factors on the timing and frequency of your prostate cancer screenings. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you notice any changes in your health.
Benefits Of Screening In Studies Have Not Been Clear
Doctors are still studying if screening tests will lower the risk of death from prostate cancer. The most recent results from 2 large studies were conflicting, and didnt offer clear answers.
- Early results from a large study done in the United States found that annual screening with PSA and DRE did detect more prostate cancers than in men not screened, but this screening did not lower the death rate from prostate cancer. However, questions have been raised about this study, because some men in the non-screening group actually were screened during the study, which might have affected the results.;
- A European study did find a lower risk of death from prostate cancer with PSA screening , but the researchers estimated that about 781 men would need to be screened to prevent one death from prostate cancer.
- Neither of these studies has shown that PSA screening helps men live longer overall .
Prostate cancer is often slow-growing, so the effects of screening in these studies might become clearer in the coming years. Both of these studies are being continued to see if longer follow-up will give clearer results. Prostate cancer screening is being studied in several other large studies, as well.
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Are You Seeing Prostate Cancer Becoming More Prevalent In Younger Patients
Its pretty rare. Its less common that men in their 40s have prostate cancer, but, we also are very rarely screening them. The young men who come in to be screened tend to have one of those high-risk features. They most likely had a father who had prostate cancer, so theyre nervous about it. Or theyre African-American, and theyve been flagged by their health care providers.
If youre young, your quality of life is even more important to you right now. We know that, if diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer, a person will need treatment at some time in life. If we can delay treatmentwhich could negatively impact urinary or sexual functionby several years, then we should do that and obviously discuss that there is a low but possible chance of metastasis developing during that time.;;
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Team
Before having a DRE, you may want to ask these questions:
Why do you recommend that I have a DRE?
What happens during the DRE?
Who will do the DRE?
How long will the DRE take?
Will it hurt?
Can a DRE find cancer?
When and how will I get my test results?
Who will explain them to me?
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What Does Rectal Exam Feel Like
. In this regard, what do you feel during rectal exam?
To start the exam, the doctor will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The doctor will then determine the size of the prostate and feel for bumps, soft or hard spots, or other abnormalities. The doctor will also examine the wall of the lower colon/rectum. For women.
Subsequently, question is, what does a rectal exam consist of? The digital rectal exam is a physical examination of the rectum, the last few inches of the bowel, just above the anus. The doctor uses a gloved and lubricated finger to check for abnormalities of the anus and rectum.
In this way, is a rectal exam painful?
Men may feel some discomfort or pain during a digital rectal exam . The examination may be painful if the prostate gland is swollen or irritated. Most women do not find a DRE painful. You may feel some pressure or discomfort when your doctor presses on your belly to feel the internal organs.
What does a prostate exam feel like?
Your health care provider will insert a gloved finger into the rectum and feel the prostate for hard, lumpy, or abnormal areas. The test takes only a few minutes to complete. You may feel slight, momentary discomfort during the test. The procedure does not cause significant pain or any damage to the prostate.
How Do I Screen For Prostate Cancer
There are two main early stage screening methods; a digital rectal exam , and a blood test measuring PSA levels. PSA screening is regarded as the best method to screen for prostate cancer in men over 40 or those of a certain risk factor.
While men might be intimidated by a DRE, itâs a quick and safe screening technique used by a physician, and should cause no significant pain.
A Digital Rectal Exam is a simple, painless and quick procedure. A physician inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate to identify if the prostate is enlarged, has lumps or is an abnormal texture compared to a healthy example.
Although this procedure is a very clear indicator of prostate health, the entire prostate canât be examined during a DRE. This is why physicians will also take into account PSA blood work, health history, and other risk factors. Overall, itâs often difficult to detect prostate cancer early, itâs mostly found through PSA testing – so PSA screenings should be done regularly, starting at the age of 40-50.
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If Youre The Receiving Partner
Youll want to be as relaxed and aroused as possible, because itll make the experience easier and more enjoyable.
The whole poop-comes-out-of-the-butt thing gives some people a case of the heebie-jeebies even when its their own butt.
Remedy this by taking a shower and paying a little extra attention back there to get it squeaky clean. Some people like to use an enema before engaging in butt play, but it isnt necessary.
Use the bathroom before getting started. Prostate stimulation can make you feel like you need to pee, and anal penetration can cause the sensation of needing to poop.
Even though you wont actually do either, worrying that you might can interfere with your ability to let go and enjoy yourself. Knowing your bladder and bowels are empty can help.
Getting used to the sensation of having your prostate touched can help, too. Practice with an anal sex toy, like a butt plug, or your fingers.
Be sure to set the mood so that youre turned on and primed for action. Light candles, watch porn, or engage in some good old-fashioned masturbation or foreplay to get there.
Finally, be sure to lube up real good. Applying a water-based lubricant will allow for easier penetration and make for some easy gliding if stimulating your prostate externally.