Digital rectal exam for prostate cancer declared outmoded

Digital rectal exam for prostate cancer declared outmoded

American Cancer Society predicted that about 26,000 American men will die due to prostate cancer this year. The digital rectal exam (DRE) used by the doctors since long to detect the cancer has been found to be the major reason for why men avoid undergoing it.

For the initial test, doctors insert their lubricated finger into man’s rectum so as to check for any bumps on the prostate gland and to ascertain if they need to undergo further tests.The researchers found that the awful test experiences keep men away from getting the cancer diagnosed.

The researchers have devised a new, effective way to detect the prostate cancer in men i.e. the prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA). The test measures PSA in blood, which can be produced by both cancer and non cancer tissue in prostate gland. Prostate gland produces a fluid that nourishes as well as transports the sperms.

Dr. Ryan Terlecki, an urologist from a North Carolina’smedical Center with his team conducted a research examining some38,000 cases of men and analyzed the PSA test results with DRE results. The team realized that, DRE test didn’t help in diagnosing the way PSA test did.

“When PSA testing is used, the DRE rarely assists in diagnosing significant disease. In cases where PSA testing is used, the DRE should be abandoned in common clinical practice”, Dr. Ryan Terlecki said.

However, the chief medical officer at American Cancer Society, Dr. Otis Brawley agreeing to Dr. Terlecki point mentioned that, men should realize the importance of getting screen tested for the cancer that is known to kill a huge number of Americans every year. Be it a PSA or DRE, they should always consider getting examined.

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