How A Doctor Performs A Prostate Exam
The male reproductive system relies on a healthy prostate to function. The prostate is a relatively small gland. It is the size of a chestnut . The prostate produces a fluid that combines with sperm.
There are times when a prostate may give a man problems. Several complications have been linked to the prostate gland. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is generally considered the most common type of prostate condition.
Other common issues that men are concerned about include prostate cancer and prostatitis.
Prostate screening is one of the first diagnostic tools used to detect these problems.
While men generally find this to be an uncomfortable procedure, its benefits need to be considered.
We take a look at how a prostate exam is done. The post also considers why a prostate exam is done.
What Is A Prostate Screening
A prostate screening should be done routinely once a man turns a certain age. This in order to detect undiagnosed prostate cancer in someone who may not have any symptoms. There are two main tests that a man must undergo during a prostate screening: A PSA test and digital rectal exam. The PSA test checks the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. The digital rectal exam consists of the doctor feeling for any abnormalities within a mans prostate.
Both types of prostate screening tests are important to have because they test for different things. This means that complete confidence regarding the state of your prostate health requires both tests. As the most common cancer for men, it can be detected early and treated.
What Is Screening For Prostate Cancer
Some men get a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor, learn what is involved, and decide if a PSA test is right for you.
Cancer screening means looking for cancer before it causes symptoms. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread.
There is no standard test to screen for prostate cancer. Two tests that are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer are described below.
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.
Read Also: Symptoms Of Enlarged Prostate In Dogs
Why Are Prostate Exams Performed
A lot of men do not realize the importance of a frequent prostate exam. When a man goes for a general check-up with his doctor, a prostate exam may be advised. This is considered part of a general health check-up.
It is generally advised that men undergo frequent health screenings once they reach the age of 40 . Research shows that this is the time when the risk of several prostate conditions increases.
For this reason, after 40, a man should ensure they obtain a prostate exam as part of their health screening.
The main reason why a doctor may advise on a prostate exam is to feel for any abnormalities with the mans prostate. This helps detect prostate disease. It is usually possible for a doctor to determine the health of the mans prostate through this examination. Further testing may be needed too.
The doctor can detect different prostate problems through a prostate exam. It is often considered the initial diagnostic option. The prostate exam itself can give a doctor an indication if there is an enlargement or swelling in the prostate gland. It also helps to determine prostate health.
In most cases, a prostate exam alone will not be the only diagnostic tool. After a digital rectal exam is done, the doctor will order additional tests if abnormalities are identified. This will help to diagnose problems like cancer and prostate enlargement.
Recommended Reading: Can Mesothelioma Cause Prostate Cancer
What Do You Want Men To Know About Prostate Cancer
The important thing to know is that, if you live long enough, you will probably get prostate cancer. If you live into your 80s, about 80 percent of men have some sort of prostate cancer. That doesnt mean theyre going to die from prostate cancer because, as a percentage, very few men die from prostate cancer. It means its important to be aware of it and consider screening early, so if its a high-grade type, we can identify it and treat it.
Dont Miss: Side Effects Of Prostate Removal
Can A Swollen Prostate If Untreated Cause Prostate Cancer
We have no evidence of that. Theyre completely unrelated problems. The area of the prostate that causes urinary symptoms is usually a different part of the prostate than where cancer is likeliest to develop.
Doctors divide the prostate into different zones. The zone that is associated with BPHand the majority of prostate growthis the transition zone. Prostate cancer occurs there much less often than in the peripheral zone, which is the outer area.
Also Check: Can A Man Live Without A Prostate
What Are Additional Tests For Detecting Prostate Problems
If the DRE or the PSA blood test indicates a problem may exist, the health care provider may order additional tests, including urinalysis, urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound with prostate biopsy, and imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography scan.
Most Commonly Seen Prostate Diseases
Prostate is a relatively fragile glandular tissue, and his importance for the male body is self-evident. Because male friends does not give enough attention for it, so that many diseases often come to find them. There are a variety of diseases associated with the prostate, but these are the most common:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
The first category is the benign prostatic hyperplasia . This disease is a common disease in middle-aged men. And with age increasing, the incidence will continue to increase. Study has found that men over the age of 50 can suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia. Among the age of 80 years in older men, about 95% of people suffer from different degrees of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The second category is the prostate cancer, including benign prostate tumors and malignant prostate tumors. Benign tumors such as prostate leiomyoma, prostate fibroids are very rare. Malignant tumors are mainly prostate cancer with prostatic sarcoma rare.
The third category is prostate stones. It refers to the prostate gland or duct in the formation of true stones, rather than staying in the prostate urethra within the urinary stone. It has been ccasionally found after physical examination, no special clinical manifestations show.
Prostate infectious diseases
Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Prostate Volume By Ultrasound
How Do I Get Ready For A Dre
You do not need to do anything special to prepare for a DRE. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you are concerned about the cost of your DRE, find out from your insurance provider what costs they will cover beforehand. Ask how much of the cost you will have to pay out of pocket.
You will be asked to sign a consent form before your DRE. The form will state that you understand the benefits and risks of the DRE and agree to have the test. Your doctor or nurse will explain the test before you sign the form, and you can ask questions.
Two Main Screening Tests
There are two tests commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:
- The Digital Rectal Exam : A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
- The Prostate Specific Antigen Test: This exam measures the level of PSA in the blood. The levels of PSA in the blood are often higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be high in other conditions that affect the prostate.Usually, the higher the bloods PSA level is, the more likely it is that a prostate problem is present. But other factors, such as age and race, also can raise PSA levels. PSA levels also can be impacted by certain medical procedures, some medications, an enlarged prostate or a prostate infection.Since your PSA level may be high for other reasons, your doctor will need to interpret the test results.
If the results of the PSA and/or DRE suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will need to do a prostate biopsy to find out. This means a sample of your prostate tissue will be removed with a needle and sent to a lab, where a specialist will determine if it contains cancer cells.
Recommended Reading: Can Cialis Shrink Enlarged Prostate
Self Prostate Exam For Prostate Stones
How to detect prostate stones in time? Experts said that the nature of prostate stones is the same as kidney stones, and stomach stones. However, the location of stones is in the prostate. Then how do we perform self prostate exam for prostate stones?
Self prostate exam for prostate stones
1, under normal circumstances, the existence of prostate stones alone has no symptoms.
2, when the prostate gland and benign prostatic hyperplasia coexist, there will be symptoms of weak, urinary frequency, urinary wait, urine droplets and so on.
4, when the prostate stones and urethritis or other diseases of urinary tract infection coexist, there will be symptoms of frequent urination, urgency, hematuria and so on.
Above is the self prostate exam for prostate stones, have you learned it? Experts said that the best way for an early detection of prostate stones is to go to the hospital for medical examination. If your body has had the above symptoms, be sure go to the regular hospital for timely inspection.
Men: Cancer Screening Exams By Age
These exams are for men at average risk of cancer.
Take this checklist to your next doctors appointment. Your doctor can help you develop a more tailored screening plan if needed.
These exams are for men at average risk of cancer. If you believe you may be more likely to develop cancer because of your personal or family medical history, visit our screening guidelines page to learn about exams for men at increased risk.
- Beginning at age 40, you should speak with your doctor about the benefits and limitations of prostate screening.
- If you choose prostate cancer screening, you should get a digital rectal exam and PSA test every year starting at age 45 to check for prostate cancer if you are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer.
- If you choose prostate cancer screening, you should get a digital rectal exam and PSA test every year to check for prostate cancer
- Colonoscopy every 10 years or virtual colonoscopy every 5 years to check for colorectal cancer
Age 76 and older
If youre age 76 to 85, your doctor can help you decide if you should continue screening. MD Anderson does not recommend cancer screening for men age 85 and older.
Regardless of your age, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body so youll notice changes and report them to your doctor without delay.
Also Check: How Do You Treat Chronic Prostatitis
Prostate Cancer Testing Near You
Access to prostate cancer screening saves lives. To help people across the country find testing near them, we have compiled a national database of active prostate cancer screening sites and events.
Each of the providers, sites, or events on this map offer free or low-cost prostate cancer screening at some point throughout the year. Contact the site directly to find out when you can have a free prostate cancer test. Please be aware that testing dates and times may differ based on the providers availability, and/or may include eligibility guidelines to qualify.
If you dont see a provider close to you, some providers may offer free testing to individuals that we are unaware of. Please call your provider or those near you to ask if they offer free testing.
If you are a service provider offering free prostate cancer testing or know of a free screening event, please contact Nicole Abbott at with details. This database is updated regularly and your feedback is appreciated!
Examination Of Your Prostate Gland
When your doctor examines you, it might include feeling your prostate gland. To do this your doctor puts a gloved finger into your back passage to check for abnormal signs. They feel for any lumps or your prostate feeling larger than it should for your age. Doctors call this a digital rectal examination .
It’s normal to feel anxious about this test and it might be uncomfortable. But it usually only lasts a few minutes.
So Doc Which Grey Cup Did You Win
Do you need an annual prostate exam? Probably not. This mostly depends on your age and if youre high risk. You may not look forward to Prostate Cancer Awareness Month like you do the Grey Cup. Still, every year the September-long event does highlight a wide range of great tips for keeping your prostate and the rest of you healthy and getting a prostate exam tops the list if youre in a high-risk category. Oh, and doctors always remove their rings while performing the exams.
What Happens During A Dre
The DRE will take place in a private exam room at your doctors 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 mans prostate is enlarged, there may be some discomfort or mild pain during the exam.
Recommended Reading: Can Losing Weight Shrink Prostate
How Do I Get Tested
A general practitioner or an urologist can perform a full prostate cancer exam. This should include a PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam .
A Prostate-Specific Antigen blood test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions.
A Digital Rectal Exam is a physical exam that is done when a doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
Talk to your general doctor or urologist about receiving a prostate exam. If you do not have a doctor, do not have insurance, or cannot afford a test, find out what free screenings are available in your area on our Free Testing Map. If you do not see a free screening in your area, check back in the fall. Many screenings occur in September, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Recent research has yielded additional tests that in addition to the PSA test and DRE and biopsy that can give a doctor more information on to determine the probability of both finding cancer during a biopsy and determining how aggressive that cancer is likely to be. Learn more here.
What Is The First Test For Detecting Prostate Problems
The first test for detecting prostate problems is a blood test to measure prostate-specific antigen , a protein made only by the prostate gland. This test is often included in routine physical exams for men older than age 50. Because African American men have higher rates of getting, and dying from, prostate cancer than men of other racial or ethnic groups in the United States, medical organizations recommend a PSA blood test be given starting at age 40 for African American men. Medical organizations also recommend a PSA blood test be given starting at age 40 for men with a family history of prostate cancer. Some medical organizations even recommend a PSA blood test be given to all men starting at age 40.
If urination problems are present or if a PSA blood test indicates a problem, additional tests may be ordered. These tests may require a patient to change his diet or fluid intake or to stop taking medications. If the tests involve inserting instruments into the urethra or rectum, antibiotics may be given before and after the test to prevent infection.
Don’t Miss: Can An Enlarged Prostate Cause Ed