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?
What Will I Know Afterwards
A rectal exam can’t definitively diagnose prostate cancer. Only a biopsy can do that and you wont be offered one if you don’t need it. Rectal exams are part of a suite of diagnostic tests, including PSA blood tests and MRI scans, that help to either build or break the case for further investigation.
What Does Prostate Cancer Screening Entail
There are two types of prostate cancer screening exams and both should be done in conjunction with the other: A digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen blood test .
A DRE is a physical exam in which the physician lubricates a gloved finger to gently examine the patients rectum. If it is enlarged or irregular in shape, the doctor will be able to easily detect it. While it may be uncomfortable, the test brief and can be life-saving.
A PSA test is a blood test that measures the level of prostate-specific antigens in the blood. Rising levels of PSA can be one of the first signs of prostate cancer, allowing for early detection and treatment.
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What To Expect During A Prostate Exam
The prostate exam, or digital rectal exam , along with prostate-specific antigen testing, is sometimes part of the prostate cancer screening process. Recent research suggests that the DRE may be ineffective in prostate cancer screening. Current screening recommendations vary depending on age and other factors. Men aged 5569 should talk with their healthcare providers regarding their risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening. African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer may need early screening.
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 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.
Prostate Cancer Is The Most Common Nonskin Cancer Among Men In The United States
Prostate cancer is found mainly in older men. Although the number of men with prostate cancer is large, most men diagnosed with this disease do not die from it. Prostate cancer causes more deaths in men than any other cancer except lung cancer. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in white men. African-American men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white men with prostate cancer.
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Who Should Do A Prostate Exam
There is no absolute consensus when males should begin to routinely test for prostate cancer. It is highly recommended that, apart from asking questions such as What is a prostate exam, men should speak with their doctors about the positives and negatives associated with being screened. If you are unsure about whether you should begin doing regular prostate exams, consider the following options:
- If you are at average risk, you may begin discussion with your doctor at about age 50.
- If you are at high risk, you should begin to schedule your prostate exams at about age 45. You may be considered high risk if you have an immediate relative who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65.
- If you are at an even higher risk, you should begin screening at about age 40. You will be at great risk for prostate cancer if you have more than one immediate relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age.
Transrectal Ultrasound With Prostate Biopsy
Transrectal ultrasound is most often used to examine the prostate. In a transrectal ultrasound, the health care provider inserts a transducer slightly larger than a pen into the mans rectum next to the prostate. The ultrasound image shows the size of the prostate and any abnormal-looking areas, such as tumors. Transrectal ultrasound cannot definitively identify prostate cancer.
To determine whether a tumor is cancerous, the health care provider uses the transducer and ultrasound images to guide a needle to the tumor. The needle is then used to remove a few pieces of prostate tissue for examination with a microscope. This process, called biopsy, can reveal whether prostate cancer is present. A transrectal ultrasound with prostate biopsy is usually performed by a doctor in a health care providers office, outpatient center, or hospital with light sedation and local anesthesia. The biopsied prostate tissue is examined in a laboratory by a pathologista doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases.
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What Happens During A Dre
The DRE will take place in a private exam room at your doctor’s office. The test only takes a few minutes. You will need to take off any clothes below your waist. You will be given a gown to wear or a cloth to wrap around your body.
For men. The doctor will ask you to stand and bend forward at the waist or they will ask you to lie on your side on an exam table with knees pulled up to your chest. As they start the DRE, the doctor may ask you to relax and take a deep breath. Then they will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The doctor will feel the size of your prostate gland. They will also feel for bumps, soft or hard spots, or other abnormal areas. The doctor will also examine the wall of your lower colon and rectum.
For women. The doctor will usually ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. Your feet will be in raised stirrups. The doctor may ask you to relax and take a deep breath as they start the DRE. Then they will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The goal is to feel your reproductive organs and the bowel. The doctor may also feel for problems in your internal organs. They do this by pressing on your lower abdomen or pelvic area with their other hand.
A DRE usually does not hurt, but you may be uncomfortable. You may also feel the need to urinate. If a man’s prostate is enlarged, there may be some discomfort or mild pain during the exam.
Preparing For A Prostate Exam
If you decide to get a prostate cancer screening, your doctor will likely order a blood test, so inform the person drawing your blood if youre prone to dizziness.
Your doctor may ask you to sign a consent form before performing a cancer screening.
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What Is A Digital Rectal Exam
The most common way for doctors to check on the health of your prostate is with a DRE. Its a fairly quick and simple procedure.
For the exam, youll bend at the waist while standing or lie on your side with your knees bent toward your chest.
Your doctor will lubricate a gloved finger and gently place it inside your rectum. Theyll press one hand on your prostate, and their other hand will feel your pelvic area. It should only take a few moments.
You may experience momentary discomfort. You may also feel the urge to urinate, especially if your prostate is enlarged or inflamed.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if your prostate seems to be a normal size and shape. In general, a DRE has no risks.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It has two or more lobes, or sections, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. The prostate is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, where urine is stored. It surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder and supplies fluid that goes into semen.
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When Do You Need A Prostate Exam
PSA is continuously present in the bloodstream for most men, and an increase in its number may be attributed to causes other than cancer. However, men who have an increased risk of prostate cancer should undergo a regular prostate exam.
Age, family history, and race are all possible factors that can increase your risk. Likewise, your doctor may also recommend that you undergo testing if you are experiencing discomfort or pain while urinating.
Symptoms which may indicate that you have a prostate issue include the following:
- Inconsistent flow of urine
How Often Is a Prostate Exam Necessary?
Your frequency of testing may be due to several factors, including your age and present health condition:
If Screening Test Results Arent Normal
If you are screened for prostate cancer and your initial blood PSA level is higher than normal, it doesnt always mean that you have prostate cancer. Many men with higher than normal PSA levels do not have cancer. Still, further testing will be needed to help find out what is going on. Your doctor may advise one of these options:
- Waiting a while and having a second PSA test
- Getting another type of test to get a better idea of if you might have cancer
- Getting a prostate biopsy to find out if you have cancer
Its important to discuss your options, including their possible pros and cons, with your doctor to help you choose one you are comfortable with. Factors that might affect which option is best for you include:
- Your age and overall health
- The likelihood that you have prostate cancer
- Your own comfort level with waiting or getting further tests
If your initial PSA test was ordered by your primary care provider, you may be referred to a urologist for this discussion or for further testing.
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The Evaluation Criteria Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Self Prostate Exam
Subjects were able to determine scores from 0 to 5 based on never, less than one-fifth,less than half,about half,more than half, and almost always
7. How many times do you usually get up from bedtime till next morning?
Subjects were able to determine the score from 0 to 5 according to never, once, twice, three times, four times and five times
0 points to 7 points for mild symptoms
8 points to 19 points for moderate symptoms
20 points to 35 points for severe symptoms
It is generally believed that mild symptoms only need follow-up, and moderate symptoms and severe symptoms were required for drug treatment and surgery. However, if any of the seven questions score more than three points, then even if the total score is not high, patients should also consider adopting the appropriate treatment.
The incidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia often increases with age, the incidence rate of 40 to 79-year-old male is about 50%, while the incidence rate of 80 years of age is as high as 83%.
There Is No Standard Or Routine Screening Test For Prostate Cancer
Although there are no standard or routine screening tests for prostate cancer, the following tests are being used or studied to screen for it:
Digital rectal exam
Digital rectal exam is an exam of the rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
Prostate-specific antigen test
A prostate-specific antigen test is a test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made mostly by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer. The level of PSA may also be high in men who have an infection or inflammation of the prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia .
A PSA test or a DRE may be able to detect prostate cancer at an early stage, but it is not clear whether early detection and treatment decrease the risk of dying from prostate cancer.
Studies are being done to find ways to make PSA testing more accurate for early cancer detection.
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Who Should Get A Prostate Exam
Starting at age 50, all men should discuss prostate cancer screening with their doctor. The American Cancer Society advises men at higher risk to have this conversation at age 45.
Youre considered to have an increased risk if youre African-American or if a first-degree relative had prostate cancer before age 65. If more than one first-degree relative had prostate cancer before age 65, you might want to consider beginning prostate cancer screening even earlier.
Prostate cancer is easier to treat before it spreads. However, some prostate cancers are so slow-growing that they dont always require treatment. A lot depends on your age and other factors.
Discuss your risk factors with your doctor, and ask if you should have a prostate exam as part of your yearly checkup.
What To Expect If You Need A Prostate Cancer Exam
If your DRE or PSA test shows an abnormal result, your doctor may suggest that you do other tests to confirm whether or not you have prostate cancer. It may be recommended that you do an ultrasound and/or a prostate biopsy.
The ultrasound will collect images of your prostate. These images will then be assessed for abnormalities consistent with prostate cancer. The prostate biopsy involves the collection of prostate tissue which is analysed for cancer cells.
Below is a video about more detailed info of prostate cancer:
Is Going To The Bathroom Frequently A Sign Of Prostate Cancer
Thats one of the challenging things having urinary symptoms is very rarelyalmost nevera sign of prostate cancer. Having urinary symptoms means you should probably be evaluated for an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . We can treat your urinary symptoms and help you pee better.
If urinary symptoms bring men to the doctor, we can discuss screening for prostate cancer. Thats important because not all men will go to a doctor until theres something wrong with them. And prostate cancer screening really is the only way to detect prostate cancer, because its almost always asymptomatic.
Screening Tests For Prostate Cancer
Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. Its not clear, however, if the benefits of prostate cancer screening outweigh the risks for most men. Still, after discussing the pros and cons of screening with their doctors, some men might reasonably choose to be screened.
The screening tests discussed here are used to look for possible signs of prostate cancer. But these tests cant tell for sure if you have cancer. If the result of one of these tests is abnormal, you will probably need a prostate biopsy to know for sure if you have cancer.
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Worried About Having A Dre
Its natural to feel worried or embarrassed about having tests, but some men find the idea of having a DRE upsetting. For example, if youve been sexually abused as a child or an adult, you might feel very upset about having this test. Theres no right or wrong way to feel about this, and it is your choice whether or not you have tests for prostate cancer.
It might be helpful to talk to a counsellor about your experience, thoughts and fears. Or you could contact a charity for people whove been sexually abused, such as the National Association for People Abused in Childhood or SurvivorsUK. If you do decide to have a DRE, explain your situation to your doctor as they can talk through the test with you and help to reassure you.
When I had the DRE I thought, For a few seconds of discomfort, I can live with it. Yeah its uncomfortable, but it could save your life. A personal experience