What Does A Dre Involve
You might have a DRE at your GP surgery or at the hospital.
The doctor or nurse will ask you to lie on your side on an examination table, with your knees brought up towards your chest. They will slide a finger gently into your back passage. Theyll wear gloves and put some gel on their finger to make it more comfortable.
You may find the DRE slightly uncomfortable or embarrassing, but the test isnt usually painful and it doesnt take long.
Who Is More Likely To Develop Prostatitis
The factors that affect a mans chances of developing prostatitis differ depending on the type.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Men with nerve damage in the lower urinary tract due to surgery or trauma may be more likely to develop chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Psychological stress may also increase a mans chances of developing the condition.
Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis. Men with lower UTIs may be more likely to develop bacterial prostatitis. UTIs that recur or are difficult to treat may lead to chronic bacterial prostatitis.
What Are The Risks With Digital Rectal Exams
One of the risks associated with digital rectal exams is the discomfort and pain that can result from the test.
There is also a possible risk for infection if local wounds become contaminated during the examination.
There is also the risk of injury to the rectal wall or worsening of rectal defects that already exist.
Just like with most medical tests, there are risks of false-positive results and false-negative results .
It is also possible that the uncomfortable nature of the exam could cause you to have a vasovagal response. This can cause you to feel lightheaded and possibly even faint.
Recommended Reading: After Effects Of Radiation For Prostate Cancer
How Is Prostatitis Treated
Treatment depends on the type of prostatitis.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Treatment for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome aims to decrease pain, discomfort, and inflammation. A wide range of symptoms exists and no single treatment works for every man. Although antibiotics will not help treat nonbacterial prostatitis, a urologist may prescribe them, at least initially, until the urologist can rule out a bacterial infection. A urologist may prescribe other medications:
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors such as finasteride and dutasteride
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugsalso called NSAIDssuch as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium
- cans such as chondroitin sulfate
- muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine and clonazepam
- neuromodulators such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline , and pregabalin
Alternative treatments may include
- warm baths, called sitz baths
- local heat therapy with hot water bottles or heating pads
- physical therapy, such as
- Kegel exercisestightening and relaxing the muscles that hold urine in the bladder and hold the bladder in its proper position. Also called pelvic muscle exercises.
- myofascial releasepressing and stretching, sometimes with cooling and warming, of the muscles and soft tissues in the lower back, pelvic region, and upper legs. Also known as myofascial trigger point release.
What Conditions Can Digital Rectal Exams Detect
Digital rectal exams can detect prostate cancer, prostate infections, benign prostatic hyperplasia, rectal masses, and structural abnormalities of the prostate and rectal wall, such as rectal prolapse. According to clinical trials, the risk of death from prostate cancer can be prevented with radical prostatectomy.
Also Check: Is Prostate Cancer Genetically Inherited
Digital Rectal Examination For Prostate Cancer
A digital rectal examination , performed as part of an annual physical checkup, is one of the most important tests for the early detection of prostate cancer. Because the prostate gland is located just in front of the rectum, it cannot be felt from the outside of the body.
During the DRE, a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the patient’s rectum to feel for lumps, enlargements, or areas of hardness that might indicate prostate cancer. The procedure lasts for less than minute and, while uncomfortable, should cause no pain. However, a painful examination could indicate the presence of other, benign conditions, such as prostatitis.
Symptoms And Characteristics Of Prostatitis
From the clinical symptoms it can be seen that the main symptoms of prostatitis are shown at somewhere else. That is, many symptoms are outside the lesion. So for the initial patients who are suffering from the disease, it is most likely to delay the disease and the best timing of treatment. We can conclude them into the following three categories:
1, Symptoms of prostate pain
The pain mainly appears at the back, perineum, lower abdomen, bilateral inguinal area, testes, anus, etc. A slight pain and a feeling of bulge discomfort. In the clinical we found that some young patients, due to abdominal pain which we should get into deeply investigation, but in the end doctors treat it as gastroenteritis. This will ultimately be invalid and even delay the treatment of the disease.
2, Urinary tract symptoms
The symptoms mainly show as dysuria, such as hard voiding, prolonged voiding, unclean urination, thinner urine, urine interruption, or even a bit like droplets or urination dysfunction. Some of these patients were found to have mild bladder irritation symptoms. And they have received treatment according to urinary tract infection with long-term ineffectively. What is more, it will also delay the best time for treatment.
3, Sexual dysfunction symptoms
Read Also: What Can Cause Your Prostate To Swell
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.
Can Prostate Cancer Be Found Early
Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. For some types of cancer, screening can help find cancers at an early stage, when they are likely to be easier to treat.
Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing for prostate-specific antigen levels in a mans blood. Another way to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam . For a DRE, the doctor puts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. These tests and the actual process of screening are described in more detail in Screening Tests for Prostate Cancer.
If the results of either of these tests is abnormal, further testing is often done to see if a man has cancer.
Read Also: Foods To Avoid With Prostate Issues
Does A Dre Always Detect Prostate Abnormalities
A digital rectal examination allows a doctor to feel only the back wall of the prostate gland, so any abnormalities located in the middle or front part of the gland cannot be felt. For this reason, the DRE is performed in conjunction with PSA testing. Although the PSA test can detect many cancers which doctors cannot feel during a DRE, it has also been shown that DREs detect some cancers which are not associated with an elevated level of PSA in the bloodstream.
Self Prostate Exam: Hot Water With Hip Bath For 5 Days
How to avoid the detour on the diagnosis of the disease? Experts recommend a simple self prostate exam which is:
If you find yourself may have at least one of the above three types of symptoms, patients can use hip bath with hot water daily for 1-2 times, each time 20 minutes. The water temperature should always remain at 50 Celsius degrees, and receive the treatment continuously for 5 days. If the symptoms reduce or disappear, the patient is likely to be suffering from chronic prostatitis. This self prostate exam is simple with no toxic side effects and helpful for the diagnosis and treatment.
Read Also: Is Drinking Beer Bad For Prostate Cancer
Eating Diet And Nutrition
Researchers have not found that eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in causing or preventing prostatitis. During treatment of bacterial prostatitis, urologists may recommend increasing intake of liquids and avoiding or reducing intake of substances that irritate the bladder. Men should talk with a health care provider or dietitian about what diet is right for them.
Digital Rectal Exam Remains Important Part Of Prostate Screening Study Shows
HERSHEY, Pa. — The digital rectal exam is an important screening test that can discover prostate cancer that a prostate-specific antigen or PSA test may not, despite the higher sensitivity of the PSA test, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
The digital rectal examination is a procedure where a physician feels the surface of the prostate with a gloved finger. The doctor is able to feel any lumps or hard areas on the prostate.
A PSA test checks for levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, with higher levels signaling potential cancer. As men age, the acceptable PSA level increases.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, accounting for over 28,000 deaths yearly,” said Jay Raman, associate professor of surgery. “Improvements in screening methodology and refinements in cancer care have contributed, in part, to a reduction in recent mortality rates.”
An elevated PSA level or an abnormality found on the prostate during the digital rectal exam typically leads to the recommendation of prostate needle biopsy, the most accurate diagnostic technique. Elevated PSA levels have been shown to more accurately predict a positive cancer biopsy result than the rectal exam. The digital rectal exam has been considered less precise because there is variability regarding who administers the test and the experience of that person, and incorrect positives associated with noncancerous abnormalities.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Latest Prostate Surgery Technique
What Kind Of Doctor Will I See For A Dre
A primary care doctor or a gynecologist usually does a DRE. A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in the health of women’s reproductive system. Other types of doctors, including gastroenterologists, surgeons, and oncologists may do DREs. A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in the gastrointestinal tract. An oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer.
What Does This Exam Feel Like
A digital rectal exam is uncomfortable. You may feel the urge to have a bowel movement in the process of the examination, but not to worry!
This is considered a normal sensation, and you wont actually have one. Similarly, you may feel the urge to urinate during palpation of the prostate gland. But chances are you dont actually need to urinate.
Read Also: Cyberknife Prostate Cancer Side Effects
How Often Should You Get A Digital Rectal Exam
You should be getting a digital rectal screening exam every five years once you reach the age of 50 .
You should also be getting a regular PSA test to check your PSA levels, as well as a genitourinary and pelvic examination. Dont be afraid to talk to your doctor about the rectal exam risks and benefits and to have an open conversation about it.
Examination Of The Rectum
- Rectal tumor? Many of rectal cancer can be palpated.
- Blood on the glove? Hint for a lower gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Mobility of the rectal mucosa in relation to the prostate? Particularly in advanced prostate cancer, the mobility of the rectal mucosa is of value in assessing the operability before radical prostatectomy.
What Is Prostatitis
Prostatitis is a frequently painful condition that involves inflammation of the prostate and sometimes the areas around the prostate.
Scientists have identified four types of prostatitis:
- chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- acute bacterial prostatitis
- chronic bacterial prostatitis
- asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
Men with asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis do not have symptoms. A health care provider may diagnose asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis when testing for other urinary tract or reproductive tract disorders. This type of prostatitis does not cause complications and does not need treatment.
What Happens After
Once its done you can get up and get dressed. Youll be able to leave as soon as youre ready.
A digital rectal examination alone wont be able to diagnose prostate cancer. This is because your doctor or nurse cant feel all of your prostate. And in some cases your prostate can feel normal but might have cancer cells in it. Or they might find something unusual and it could be due to another condition.
But if your GP is concerned theyll refer you for more tests.
Cancer of the prostate: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-upC Parker and others,
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , 2015
Don’t Miss: What Causes Your Prostate To Enlarge
How It Is Done
For a digital rectal exam, you will take off your clothes below the waist. You will be given a gown to wear.
- A man is often examined while he stands, bending forward at the waist. A man can also be examined while lying on his left side, with his knees bent toward his chest.
- A woman is often examined while lying on her back on an examination table, with her feet raised and supported by stirrups. A rectovaginal exam is often done for women so that organs in the pelvic area can be checked. But a digital rectal exam also can be done with a woman lying on her left side, especially if a pelvic exam is not done at the same time.
Your doctor gently puts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum. He or she may use the other hand to press on the lower belly or pelvic area to feel for tenderness or problems, such as enlargement, hardness, or growths.
Cost And Health Insurance
Before you go in for the test, you may want to contact your insurance provider and confirm what costs will be covered and what you may have to pay for out of pocket. A DRE is often covered if performed for prostate cancer screening, but this can vary by provider as well as depend on state laws. Men over 50 who have Medicare are covered for a yearly PSA blood test and DRE.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Prostate Swelling Naturally
Why It Is Done
A digital rectal exam is done to:
- Check for growths in or enlargement of the prostate gland in men. A tumor in the prostate can often be felt as a hard lump. This may be done as part of a regular examination or to check on symptoms, such as a change in urination. Not all problems of the prostate can be felt through the rectum.
- Check for problems in a woman’s reproductive organs, such as the uterus and ovaries. It may also be done to check on symptoms, such as pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding.
- Help find the cause of symptoms such as rectal bleeding , belly or pelvic pain, a change in urination, or a change in bowel habits.
- Check for hemorrhoids or growths, such as cancer, in the rectum. DRE alone is not used to diagnose colorectal cancer. Also, a DRE may not find internal hemorrhoids because they are soft and hard to feel. A sigmoidoscopy may be needed to diagnose internal hemorrhoids.
Risk Of Bias And Quality Assessment
Two independent reviewers used the validated Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool to assess the quality of included studies. Two reviewers independently used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation framework for assessing the quality of evidence of our pooled analyses across 5 domains: risk of bias, indirectness, inconsistency, imprecision, and publication bias.
Concerns About Prostate Cancer Screening
If prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, it will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done. While this might make it seem like prostate cancer screening would always be a good thing, there are still issues surrounding screening that make it unclear if the benefits outweigh the risks for most men.
What To Expect During Your Digital Rectal Exam
I typically use a mannequin to show my patients the area Ill examine during their DRE. The prostate is a walnut-sized organ that sits right in front of the rectum, directly under the bladder. We cant feel the prostate from outside the body, so the rectum is our best and easiest way to access it.
During the exam, your doctor will wear a glove. Theyll lubricate their finger so the test is a little more comfortable. Youll be undressed below the waist, either bending over the exam table or lying on the table on your side. The doctor will insert a finger and feel for any lumps or hardened areas on the prostate. The test takes just a few seconds to complete. You may feel like you have to urinate during the test, and there may be some discomfort. However, it usually isnt painful.
Though a digital rectal exam may be a little awkward, it plays an important part in the early diagnosis of prostate disorders and cancer. Ask your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer and whether you need to schedule this quick, potentially lifesaving procedure.
Call or click below to make an appointment for a prostate cancer screening.
Don’t Miss: Prostate Cancer Pill Hope For Thousands