So you’re thinking about going to get your first prostate exam, and you’re feeling a little nervous. With all of the horror stories surrounding diagnosis, examination procedures, and uncomfortable situations, you have procrastinated getting this proactive healthcare examination. While it is highly recommended that you do not procrastinate these types of preventative examinations, the fact that you’re here now is a great start to taking better care of your body. Throughout this post, we will go over what to expect when arriving for your first prostate exam.
What We’re Fighting Against
Prostate cancer is the second leading type of cancer for men and the leading cause of death for men over the age of 75. While it is a highly treatable form of cancer if detected in early stages, the procrastination of prostate exams leads to higher stages of cancer within a person and an increased risk of death.
For those that are seeking out treatment for Prostate Cancer, be sure to check out HIFU Prostate Services. With locations spanning various parts of the United States, a dedicated and highly trained staff, and care centered around each and every one of our patients, you are sure to find comfort and wellness with HIFU! Scroll down to continue reading about expectations of your prostate exam.
Before the Procedure Begins
After arriving at the physician’s office and checking in, your doctor will enter the room to chat before any actual examination is undergone. They will ask you questions related to health conditions (both current and past), symptoms of potential prostate cancer (weak urine stream, painful urination, bloody discharge), and family history (particularly related to Prostate cancer). If your doctor isn’t asking multiple questions regarding some of these topics, don’t be scared to reveal some of the details on your own. It is for your own good!
Pro-Tip: Make sure to do research about family history and current symptoms you’re experiencing prior to entering the building. This ensures that you provide your doctor with accurate information that is useful to the rest of the entire procedure.
Moving into the Full Examination
When getting a preventative prostate exam, the staff will administer two tests for you. The two tests are known as a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test. It is crucial to participate in both tests, as certain abnormalities may be found in one test while missing the other completely.
A DRE involves the “dreaded” procedure that typically scares men away from taking care of their long-term health. This exam involves a physician wearing a lubricated glove and inserting their pointer finger into the rectum. While it may be uncomfortable to lie down on your side, the actual process is painless. A hurt sense of dignity is better than a life-changing illness. It is very important to get this portion of the test done, as feeling for physical abnormalities can show some of the earlier symptoms of prostate cancer.
Important Note: After going to a few prostate check-ups, your doctor might notice slight changes in-between visits. This can create “false-positives” and cause worry. These changes in the prostate do not necessarily indicate cancer, which is why it is important to partake in both examinations for clarity of mind.
The second test that will be administered upon your first prostate exam is the PSA Blood Test. This involves getting your blood drawn to be tested for the prostate-specific antigen to see how high the concentrations are. Typically, levels of PSA go up when prostate cancer is detected. It is possible however to have high levels of PSA and be cancer-free or have early stages of prostate cancer with low levels of PSA. This is why it is so important to administer both tests, as they can detect the other signs ignored by the opposing test.
We hope that your exam comes back with resounding negatives, but we do know that is not always the case. If your results from the initial screening come back questionable, your primary care provider might recommend moving into an additional screening with a prostate cancer specialist. They have access to more resources and technology that can further detect the cause of these abnormalities.
Some of these tests include:
- Additional PSA Blood Testing
- Trans Rectal Ultrasound (TRUS)
- Uses sound waves to create a visual representation of your prostate, assisting to monitor changes in the prostate gland.
- Prostate Biopsy
- The only way to truly diagnose prostate cancer, the biopsy takes samples of prostate tissue to examine in labs, providing results to the patient several days later.
If all else Fails, Choose HIFU Prostate Services for Help
In need of treatment for a devastating diagnosis? We’re here to help. HIFU has pioneered a less invasive treatment option for prostate cancer, and we hope to improve your quality of life. Contact us today to see how we can assist you during these troubling times.