A prostate exam is a procedure that must be done by all men at a certain point in their lives. Issues with the prostate are common in men, and like most medical problems, the earlier an issue is detected, the better. Dr. Edward Gheiler has over two decades of experience in urological services, including prostate exams and treatment. As a result, our offices wanted to provide some information on what a prostate examination involves.
There are two main ways of performing a prostate exam. Specialists will either choose to perform a digital rectal examination or a prostate-specific antigen test. These tests are used to detect cancer or other issues that may be present in or around the prostate.
Your specialist will most likely question you before the procedure to ensure the examination does not exacerbate any other conditions you may have. Tell your specialist if you suffer from hemorrhoids or anal fissures, as the procedure could aggravate these issues.
Additionally, be transparent with any medication or substances you may be taking, as there may also be a blood test accompanying your examination.
The digital rectal examination is what comes to mind for most when thinking of a prostate examination. During the examination, the specialist utilizes a lubricated, gloved finger to inspect for any irregularities in the size and shape of the prostate. It can be uncomfortable; however, it is not a painful or lengthy procedure.
This procedure is not always 100% effective, and if irregularities are found will usually require further testing to confirm a result.
The prostate-specific antigen test can provide further information for specialists. The test is a blood test that measures antigen levels produced by the prostate to assess the gland’s production rate and overall health. A higher production rate of the antigen may indicate prostate cancer in a patient.
If a doctor feels irregularities in the prostate through the digital rectal examination, the prostate-specific antigen test can confirm or deny a diagnosis.
The results from a digital rectal examination are discussed right after the procedure, as results are known immediately. Though this procedure can produce a large percentage of false positives, it is necessary for determining prostate-related issues.
The prostate-specific antigen test requires more time before results are received, as the specialist must send the sample to a laboratory for analysis and testing. While high levels of antigen in the bloodstream are an indicator of prostate cancer, as with the digital rectal examination, findings are not always conclusive.
If both tests yield cause for concern, your specialist will most likely recommend a biopsy for more conclusive results.
The most important step in scheduling a prostate exam is to find a qualified specialist. As stated above, early detection is paramount in treating prostate cancer and other ailments. Since these exams are not always conclusive, having the best urologist in Miami with years of experience is vital to get correct and potentially life-saving results. Contact our South Florida office to schedule your examination today.