Do You Really Need An Annual Prostate Exam
Common knowledge used to hold that men over the age of 50 needed to get an annual digital prostate exam. Catching cancer early is important, but do men really need to get the uncomfortable procedure every year? Dr. Tom Miller has some good news for men about modern prostate screenings.
Interviewer: Your annual prostate exam. Is it still something that you should have done every year, or can you skip it? We’ll find out next on The Scope.
Announcer: Help information from experts supported by research from the University of Utah Health. This is the scoperadio.com.
Interviewer: Dr. Tom Miller, so, at one point, I know that every year that they said you should get a prostate exam if you’re after over 50 years old. Do you have to still do that anymore, or is there a better way?
Interviewer: All right. So, just to clarify, because I mean this is a bit of a paradigm change for me. It feels a little weird like . . .
Dr. Miller: Well, most men would tell you that.
Interviewer: Yes, I don’t mean in that way, but it feels a little strange that we’re saying now you don’t need to do the rubber glove and the whole thing, that there’s actually an alternative test you’re talking about. Tell me more about that test.
Interviewer: Got you. So it’s just a blood draw that would start after the age of 50, earlier, if you have a family history?
Dr. Miller: Average comers starting at the age of 50.
Interviewer: Got you, and there’s some symptoms or something going.
Dr. Miller: Correct.
What Can I Expect In A Visit
Your first appointment with a urologist may not be different from a visit with your primary doctor. YouÃ¢â¬â¢ll fill out forms and answer questions about your health history, current symptoms, and any medicines you take.
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Prostate screenings are crucial to have so that men can catch any signs of prostate cancer early on. Once a man reaches the ages of 40 and above, it is best that he begins to consult with a doctor about this test.
If you have questions about getting a prostate screening and the importance of them, then reach out to our office so that we can help you further. Give us a call or stop by our office today and wed be happy to assist you in any way that we can.
Request an appointment here: or call Center for Adult Medicine and Preventive Care at for an appointment in our Passaic office.
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Ruling Out Prostate Cancer
If you have symptoms of BPH, your doctor might also test for prostate cancer. An early examination is important because only a comprehensive exam will determine whether you have BPH, which is a benign condition, or whether you have prostate cancer, which is best to diagnose early. Important tests for detecting prostate cancer include a digital rectal examination and prostate-specific antigen test.
- Digital rectal examination : During this test, your urologist will feel your prostate. The exam shows whether your prostate is hard or asymmetrical, both of which can be signs of cancer, or soft, which is less likely to indicate cancer. Your urologist will insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. If your doctor feels anything that may indicate prostate cancer, you may need to have more tests to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen Test: This blood test measures a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. It is always done and evaluated in conjunction with a DRE.
It is important to recognize that a high PSA reading alone does not mean that you have cancer. An elevated PSA could be a sign of a number of conditions, including BPH, or prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate. There is no evidence that prostatitis and BPH cause cancer, but it is possible for a man to have one or both of these conditions and to develop prostate cancer as well.
What Are The Prostate Cancer Symptoms I Need To Look Out For
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms. Symptoms of early prostate cancer can include:
- difficulty passing urine
- a slow, interrupted flow of urine
- frequent passing of urine, including at night
Symptoms associated with advanced prostate cancer include:
- blood in urine
- pain during urination
- lower back or pelvic pain.
These symptoms are also found in men who may have benign prostatic hyperplasia , a common, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
If you experience these symptoms, visit your doctor.
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Tests To Diagnose And Stage Prostate Cancer
Most prostate cancers are first found as a result of screening. Early prostate cancers usually dont cause symptoms, but more advanced cancers are sometimes first found because of symptoms they cause.
If prostate cancer is suspected based on results of screening tests or symptoms, tests will be needed to be sure. If youre seeing your primary care doctor, you might be referred to a urologist, a doctor who treats cancers of the genital and urinary tract, including the prostate.
The actual diagnosis of prostate cancer can only be made with a prostate biopsy .
On this page
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.
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What Is Prostate Cancer Screening Then
A prostate cancer screening is a medical test that men can get to help find out if they might have signs of prostate cancer. The goal of prostate cancer screening is to detect any chance of prostate cancer as early as possible when theres a good chance it could be cured. Remember, though, the PSA blood test isnt perfect.
So, if the result of your prostate cancer screening is abnormal, it doesnt necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. You may need other tests to find out for sure.
There are two types of prostate cancer screenings: a physical exam and blood test.
A physical exam is when a doctor feels around the area around the prostate gland and testicles for any lumps, bumps, or unusual areas.
A blood test is when a doctor takes a small blood sample and looks at it under a microscope to see if there are high levels of PSA in the blood.
What Do You Say To Patients Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer
Something I say to my patients a lot is that, in treating prostate cancer, we end up trying to extend your quantity of life at the cost of your quality of life. And so, at some point, if the quantity is extended a lot, and we can minimize the effect on quality, that makes sense, but the equation is different for every man. How much decrease in quality of life are you willing to accept if were going to extend your life?
Realistically, a lot of guys who are 70 dont have any sexual function anyway, so thats not a huge loss for them. As men get older theres definitely an increased chance of having erectile dysfunction the guys who have sexual function over 70 are very keen on preserving it. Even for the guys who dont have good sexual function, who are on Viagra, for them its often even more important to preserve what sexual function they have.
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Prostate Exam In Concord Mint Hill And Charlotte
Some men are hesitant about getting tested, but a skilled urologist will give you confidence and knowledge about maintaining your prostate health. Dr. Richard Natale is here to help you maintain optimum sexual health and overall health as well.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natale, contact our friendly staff at Carolina Urology today by calling 786-5131 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.
What Kind Of Training Does A Urologist Have
Besides 4 years of medical school, urologists have at least 5 more years of special training focused on the urinary tract and male reproductive system.
Urologists must pass an exam and earn board certification from the American Board of Urology.
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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.
When To See A Urologist About Enlarged Prostate
The signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate become more evident as a man ages. An enlargement of the prostate can signal Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia a noncancerous, but bothersome condition that affects more than half of men in their 50s and up to 90% of men in their 70s and 80s.1,2 However, the severity of these symptoms does not necessarily correlate with the severity of the enlargement of the prostate. In fact, many men who have serious enlargement of the prostate may only have mild symptoms and vice versa. That means that it is advisable for men who experience urinary symptoms to see their urologist early.
Attention to these problems may help avoid serious interference in their lifestyle, such as the often embarrassing urgency and frequency of urination. A proactive physician visit may also allow for early diagnosis or even prevention of a more serious prostatic condition. LUTS can be a sign of prostatitis or even prostate cancer. Most men experiencing urinary symptoms or over the age of 50 will benefit from regular prostate exams.
Visiting a urologist at the earliest stages of enlargement has the following benefits:
1 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Prostate enlargement: benign prostatic hyperplasia. NIH Publication No. 07-3012. June 2006.
2 Carter HB. Prostate Disorders: The Johns Hopkins White Papers. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Medicine 2013:1-25.
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How Often Should You Get A Clinical Exam
Get a clinical genital exam at least once a year. Basic genital exams that involve checking your genital appearance and lightly feeling around the area are typically done during routine or annual physicals.
You can request that your doctor do more specific or detailed tests if youre concerned about any changes youve noticed in your genitals.
Your next steps will depend on what, if any, symptoms your doctor observed during the clinical exam.
Here are some possibilities:
- Youre referred to a urologist or other specialist for specialized testing and diagnosis.
- You get further testing done to diagnose conditions that may be causing genital abnormalities or growths.
- Youre prescribed medication that can relieve symptoms of genital abnormalities or dysfunction.
- Youre referred to a therapist or counselor if the cause of your genital abnormalities is psychological or emotional.
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
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Bladder And Prostate Cancer
If youre like most men, when you hear urologist, you think prostate exam.
This is not necessarily untrue well want to check on your prostate health, says Dr. Gill. Believe it or not, the prostate exam is not your urologists favorite part of the visit, either.
In the current era of PSA testing, cancer is found less often on prostate exams than it once was.
But the exam remains an important part of your visit with regard to your overall prostate health not to mention it can also help us plan treatment for many prostate conditions, he says.
Should cancer be found in your prostate or bladder, urologists can offer lifesaving care. So its important to follow through when youre referred to one.
A urologist can help make sure you dont have a disease that could take away from the time you have left with loved ones, says Dr. Gill.
Robotic surgery has helped reduce the nearly week-long hospital stay for kidney, bladder or prostate cancer surgery in the past to just a few days, or even one day, today.
We use technology to help care for men in a number of ways. The field of urology is dynamic its always changing, he says.
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.
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What Happens During Your Gp Appointment
Your doctor needs to build up a picture of what’s going on. So they will ask you some questions. These include:
- what symptoms you have
- when you get them
- whether anything makes them better or worse
They will ask you about your general health and any other medical conditions you have. They might arrange for you to have some tests.
Causes Of Prostate Cancer
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. But certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older.
For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in black men and less common in Asian men.
Men whose father or brother were affected by prostate cancer are at slightly increased risk themselves.
Recent research also suggests that obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer.
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Living With Prostate Cancer
As prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, you can live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment.
You may find it beneficial to talk about the condition with your family, friends, a GP and other people with prostate cancer.
Financial support is also available if prostate cancer reduces your ability to work.