About Abnormal Digital Rectal Exams
Diagnosing Prostate Conditions
At MiVIP Surgery Centers, we are focused on ensuring that our patients are healthy head to toe. Whether they have neck pain or prostate issues, we’re here to stay ahead of the diagnosis and treat the condition as quickly as possible.
A digital rectal exam, or DRE, is vital at detecting prostate conditions. Within a short window following your exam, you can have a clearer picture regarding your health and how to move forward.
How Effective Are Digital Rectal Exams
The American Cancer Society reported that prostate cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in men living in America. Every year approximately 240,000 people will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and over 8 percent of those individuals will lose their life to the disease.
Common Conditions Found Following a Digital Rectal Exam
During a digital rectal exam, the physician will insert a finger into the rectum to look for abnormalities in the prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ that is situated in front of the rectum. The following conditions may be found:
- Prostate Cancer – Abnormal growths may be felt.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – An enlarged prostate.
- Prostate Infection – Bacterial infections may cause the prostate to be warm, very tender and swollen.
- Prostatic Stones – Calcification of the prostate is hard to diagnose via a DRE, but it is still looked for.
Signs of an Abnormal Digital Rectal Exam
A normal digital rectal exam will find a smooth prostate that is not hard, raised or swollen. An abnormal exam may find the following:
- Enlarged prostate
- An area on the prostate that is harder than the surrounding tissue
- A bump or nodule on the prostate
- Increased tenderness when touched
Treatment Options for an Abnormal Digital Rectal Exam
If your DRE is abnormal, your doctor will perform a biopsy. During prostate biopsies, various specimens of the prostate tissue will be removed via hollow needles. The biopsy is then sent to a pathologist who will check it for cancer.
Your doctor will likely perform a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test as well. This is a blood test that looks for elevated PSA, which is generally a symptom of prostate cancer. A biopsy will be performed if the PSA is normal but a bump or other abnormality is located during the digital rectal exam.
Digital Rectal Exams Save Lives
Due to early screening tests, death as a result of prostate cancer is reduced approximately 37 percent. The digital rectal exam can provide your doctor with essential information that can be used to treat prostate problems before it becomes too late.
Contact MiVIP Today
For additional abnormal digital rectal exam information, or to schedule an evaluation today, contact miVIP Surgery Centers at 855-496-4847.