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What You Should Know About Proctology Exams

Updated: Sep 27

A proctology exam is one of those little things that can end up saving your life. It is necessary to detect prostate cancer, which is the second highest leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men.


The American Cancer Society states that approximately one in seven men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is not yet clear if it is possible to prevent prostate cancer, but early detection is vital when it comes to reducing the likelihood of death from the disease.


A prostate exam can detect early signs of prostate cancer in patients who do not yet have any apparent symptoms. The exam is recommended for all men once they turn 40 years old.


Your doctor will use two exams to detect prostate cancer. These are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) exam and the digital rectal exam (DRE).


Neither one of these tests confirms the disease, but they do reveal if the patient has prostate issues and if further testing like a biopsy is needed.


What to expect during a proctology exam


Prostate-specific antigen test


During the PSA exam, a sample of blood is drawn from the patient. A lab then tests the blood’s concentration of PSA, a protein produced in the prostate.

Certain external factors can affect the results of a PSA proctology exam. For best results, the patient should not have:


Worked out vigorously within the past two days

A urinary tract infection

A prostate biopsy within the past two months

Ejaculated within the past two days


The factors listed above typically increase the patient's PSA levels. These levels can also be affected by:


Certain medications

Age

The patient's ethnicity

An infection

An enlarged prostate


PSA results

It typically takes about two weeks to get