How Do Men Feel About The Rectal Exam
I think most men are willing to do it, but some men are exceptionally opposed to it. They might be happy to hear that there are studies ongoing in the United Kingdom looking at using magnetic resonance imaging as a screening tool to be able to avoid doing a digital rectal exam in the future. There is a large African immigrant population in London with a higher incidence of prostate cancerthey didnt want to have the prostate exam because they had a lot of opposition to it. They were uncomfortable with it.
When Should I Go Back
The answer to how often you should get a prostate exam depends on your medical history, but if youve got the all-clear, when you return depends on your age. The recommendations are as follows:
Age 50 59:
- If your PSA was between 1 and 3ng/mL: return every 2 to 4 years
- If your PSA was under 1ng/mL: return aged 60
Age 60 70:
What If I Am Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer
Many people have been where you are standing. Dont lose hope. More than 3.1 million American men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are alive today.
The first thing you should consider doing is to find out about the specifics of your cancer. You should know your stage and grade .
From there you can find out what treatment options you want to pursue, if any. Talk to your doctors. Choose a healthcare team of different specialists, or consult a second opinion. You can also do your own research, or talk to men who have been in your position. Many of our advocates are patients and survivors hear their stories at the video library. Or head to the rest of our website to start some research.
What If My Test Results Are Abnormal
If the results of early detection tests like the PSA test or the digital rectal exam suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will conduct further testing. The PSA may be repeated, or you may be sent to a specialist for more tests such as a transrectal ultrasound and a prostate biopsy.
In a prostate biopsy, a tissue sample is taken from your prostate. Cancer can only be diagnosed with a tissue sample.
In addition to a PSA test, DRE , and a biopsy, research has yielded additional tests that can detect if cancer is present, and if so, how aggressive that cancer might be:
- The Prostate Health Index combines three blood tests that give a more accurate Phi Score, which gives accurate information based on a high PSA to better determine the probability of finding cancer during a biopsy.
Prostate Exams: Do You Really Need One
Prostate cancer, although the second most common cancer in men in the United States, is extremely treatable when it is detected in its early stages.
Recently, there has been debates in the medical community about whether or not the benefits of a prostate exam outweigh the risks. We asked Jeffrey Spencer, MD, a Urologist at Finger Lakes Urology Institute for his expert opinion on prostate exams and prostate cancer screenings.
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What Age Should I Get A Prostate Exam
Prostate exams are an essential basic health screening test that everyone at risk of prostate cancer should consider. Current American Cancer Society guidelines suggest that men over the age of 50 should speak with their primary care physician about getting screened routinely for prostate cancer. This guideline may change depending on your risk for prostate cancer.
What Happens If Psa Is High
A PSA level thats elevated may indicate prostate cancer, but it may also indicate other conditions, such as benign prostate hyperplasia or prostate infections. PSA levels can increase due to several factors, including age, infection, size of the prostate gland, and more.
If your PSA is high, your doctor may recommend another PSA test to confirm the number, and follow up with regular PSA tests and DRE exams to observe over time. If PSA continues to increase, your doctor might recommend additional testing and imaging.
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Weighing Your Options For Treatment
If you test positive for prostate cancer, you have some options as to what youd like to do about it. Until recently, nearly everyone opted for surgery or radiation, while some patients choose not to undergo treatment, instead opting for active surveillance, during which the cancers are left alone but regularly monitored to be certain that theyre not growing.
Certainly, screening can lead to earlier prostate cancer detection, and with earlier detection, youre eligible for multiple different treatments or active surveillance, said Sia Daneshmand, MD, director of urologic oncology at USC Urology of Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of urology at Keck School of Medicine of USC. So we encourage patients who are candidates for screening to discuss it with their urologist and/or primary care physician so that we can determine whats the best course of treatment for them.
There also is a new option for those seeking prostate cancer treatment. Its called High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound , which uses ultrasound beams to non-surgically destroy prostate tumors.
Why Is Active Surveillancethe Wait
We utilize active surveillance for men who have been diagnosed with a low-grade prostate cancer. The reason we monitor low-grade prostate cancer using active surveillance, rather than treating it aggressively, is that there are cancers that dont need treatment.
With low-grade prostate cancer, youre more likely to have problems from the treatment than from the prostate cancer. Any treatment we do for prostate cancer is going to affect a mans urinary and sexual function. It may affect it a little bitor a lot. With this type of prostate cancer, we can tell you now that theres very little likelihood the cancer is going to cause you any problems. We have a good and growing amount of evidence that low-grade prostate cancers, on average, progress very slowly and do not appear to spread to the lymph nodes. Active surveillance lets us detect higher grade disease and treat it at that point.
For us to do anything and treat it is going to change your quality of life. I think thats a powerful thing.
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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.
Preparing For A Prostate Exam
Theres nothing special that you need to do to prepare for a prostate exam. Tell your doctor if you have or hemorrhoids, as a DRE may aggravate these.
If you undergo 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.
You can get a prostate exam easily and quickly at your doctors office. Generally, for prostate cancer screenings, your doctor will take a simple blood test.
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Reach Out To Us Today
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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Health & Wellnessal Roker Reveals Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
Rettig said that someone who has a “strong family history” of early onset prostate cancer might want to talk to their primary care provider or other health care practitioner earlier in life, while someone with less risk might prefer to wait.
The guidelines for how often men should be screened again also vary. If you have a high prostate-specific antigen , a protein made by cells in the prostate gland, you may be recommended to come back for more frequent screenings, but those with lower PSA levels might only be advised to come back every four years or so.
“If you’re 55 and have you have a PSA of less than one, you can wait four years to get screened again,” Rettig explained. “Alternatively, if you’re 45 and have a PSA of two and a half, that might be someone who might get a biopsy or be re-screened within the year. … How frequently one would be prescreened is really contingent upon the specifics of the patient.”
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What Happens During A Dre Examination
The DRE requires the insertion of a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum by a doctor to check the size of the prostate and confirm the presence or absence of any abnormalities. This test is important because it can uncover signs of prostate problems that may require further testing, which is why its usually the first test performed.
Men who have conditions like hemorrhoids are strongly advised to inform their doctor so that worsening of the condition by the test can be prevented.
The PSA blood test is the current recommended test for screening. Typically taking place after the DRE, the PSA test detects levels of the protein-specific antigen, made by the prostate, in the blood.
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Symptomatic treatment of an enlarged prostate usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be the best option if you suffer from chronic urination. It will help the body adjust to the increased size of the prostate. Also, taking regular urination intervals will help retrain the bladder to function properly. Inactivity also contributes to urine retention, and cold temperatures can increase the urge to urinate.
Invasive treatment of enlarged prostate includes medication that relieves the pressure on the urethra and bladder. However, if the condition is severe, it may require surgical intervention. If treatment is not successful, the enlarged prostate can become a potentially life-threatening disease. As the hormone levels in the body change, the enlarged prostate can lead to various complications, including urinary retention and even cancer. This is why it is critical to see a doctor for further evaluation.
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Research Into Prostate Cancer Screening
Research is ongoing to find other prostate cancer screening tests and ways to improve the current test. This includes:
- new blood and urine tests
- a combination of a blood test and other information such as age and family history
- MRI and other types of scans
More research is needed to find out whether these tests are reliable enough to detect prostate cancer.
What Would You Say To Men Who Dont Want To Get A Prostate Check
A rectal exam is recommended but optional. We recommend both, but if theyll just let you do a blood test, thats better than not doing anything at all.
If concern about the rectal exam is the only reason youre not getting screened, talk to your doctor about it. We can discuss the risks and benefits. None of the evaluation tests are mandatory, but the reason we do that is that it improves our ability to detect cancer. So, if thats why youre not being evaluated, we can talk and decide if we can do other tests.
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Health & Wellnessprostate Cancer Warning Signs: What Doctors Say You Need To Know
Dr. Behfar Ehdaie, a urologic surgeon specializing in prostate cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said that these varying guidelines are due to the different risk factors that each person faces. Things like family history, environmental factors, race and more can all come into play when it comes to assessing prostate cancer risk.
“There are specific patient level factors that have to go into that decision, including family history, comorbidities, and life expectancy,” said Ehdaie, who said that people who are not expected to live more than another decade may not be advised to get screened. “And of course, the patient’s own preferences are taken into account, their goals, what they want to achieve.”
What Happens During A Prostate Exam
Prostate exams might be uncomfortable. Here is what to expect when you receive your first prostate exam. Prostate exams can include two major tests: the PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam .
PSA Blood Test
The PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. PSA is a protein that is produced by your prostate. Normally, your prostate produces only small amounts of PSA. However, if you have prostate cancer or diseases such as benign prostate hyperplasia , your prostate might release more amount of PSA. As such, high levels of PSA can indicate disease.
Digital Rectal Exam
The DRE exam is used to physically examine the size, shape, and texture of your prostate. In order to examine your prostate, your doctor will insert a lubricated, gloved, finger into your rectum to inspect your prostate. This exam should not be painful and will only last 1-2 minutes. Your doctor will be feeling for hard, lumpy, or other abnormalities of the prostate. Although slightly uncomfortable, this test can be extremely helpful for detecting prostate cancer at an early age.
During the exam, you will be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown. There are a number of possible positions to stay in but will completely depend on your physician and your own preference. For instance, you can lie on your side, bend over the table, or squat on the exam table. These options will be disclosed to you by your doctor.
How to Prepare for a Prostate Exam
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Who Should Get Screened For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer typically starts in men around 55 to 70 years old. For men who are not at a higher risk of developing the disease should begin a conversation with their doctor about getting screened in their fifties and repeat the screening about every two years.
Men who are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer should begin screenings at age 40. Those at higher risk for prostate cancer include:
- Black or African-American men
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Why Prostate Exams Are Important
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. A prostate exam can reveal very valuable information about your overall health and also detect cancer as early as possible. Additionally, prostate cancer is very slow-growing and asymptomatic until very advanced stages. If not detected early enough, treatment will be a lot more difficult and chances of survival will decrease drastically.
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What Do My Psa Test Results Mean
Once your test results are back, your healthcare provider will let you know if any additional testing is recommended. PSA levels can vary over time for several reasons unrelated to prostate cancer . So, if you have a borderline PSA, your provider may simply recommend another PSA test in six months or so.
What Are The Risks Of A Prostate Exam
In the medical community, there is some controversy regarding the risks and benefits of a prostate exam. When a DRE is performed and irregularity is detected, 50% of the time there is prostate cancer and 50% of the time there isnt. The risk, then, becomes over-treatment.
Although not a physical health risk, the possibility of further testing, such as a prostate biopsy or an MRI of the prostate, can be anxiety-provoking.
Overall, the benefits highly outweigh the risks. Patients should discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with their physician to make the best decision for their health.
As men age, they can face physical, sexual and medical health concerns that have an impact on their everyday lives. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, along with regular checkups and screening tests can help prevent or lead to early treatment of many men’s health threats.
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