While the sun may be setting on Movember 2015 there’s one last important thing we need to discuss: the need to actually go in for regular physical check up’s on a regular basis. Yes, even and especially, a prostate exam. We get it—seeing a doctor is not anyone’s favorite activity. And the idea of letting someone get too close to your nether regions while you’re in a cold exam room with a medical gown is a daunting thought for, well, any man. So we’re here to break down some common myths and give you the facts about what it’s really like as well as why it’s so important. There’s not need to “Fear the Rear” and here’s why.
Myth #1: The only way to get tested is with a physical exam
Actually there are two different tests that doctors will give depending on the patient and their medical history.
The physical screening, a digital rectal exam or DRE, is when a doctor will use a gloved, lubricated finger to examine the lower rectum where the prostate is located to feel for any abnormalities (lumps, enlarged gland, etc). It’s performed without any medication (sorry guys) because it’s generally not painful and only takes a few minutes.
The other method is a blood test called a prostate-specific antigen test or PSA. After drawing a sample of blood, a lab will measure the levels of levels of PSA in your blood. High PSA levels can signal a problem like an enlarged or infected prostate or cancer. Some men with prostate cancer may even have low levels of PSA or a sign of other medical issues if men are overweight or obese. Depending on the person a second blood test may be needed.
Myth #2: If you have prostate cancer nothing can be done to fix it
Early screening results in early detection and treatment. Los hombres who really benefit from the test are as young as 40. If a PSA test suggests cancer, early detection often leads to being cured of it.