Prostate exam performed by a doctor
and even a self exam is a tricky task.
Why do so many men avoid getting this specific exam?
Why do some men dread the very thought of getting a physical?
It has nothing to do with disrobing in front of nurses or even the old turn-and-cough-routine. It's all about the rubber glove!
The reason doctors insert a well-lubed and gloved finger into a man's rectum during a physical is to detect abnormal growths on the prostate. It is the gland that helps control the functions associated with urination and ejaculation.
There is a big problem with the finger exam; doctors can't feel the whole prostate from that angle of insertion. So it's very possible that you could have a tumour on your prostate even if your doctor can't feel one during a manual exam.
Therefore, it is important to have a PSA test (prostate-specific antigen test), which will help locate whatever abnormality, if any. But then, it's important to note that an elevated PSA doesn't mean you have cancer; an elevated level can also be associated with other conditions, like benign inflammation of the prostate.
Only a biopsy can determine whether it's prostate cancer or not. It's the change from your baseline value rather than the absolute number that interests the doctors; the trend can predict early cancer, which most responds to treatment. Get one at age fifty and every year after.
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