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Is Prostate Self-Exam Safe and Accurate?

February 13th, 2018

Is Prostate Self-Exam Safe and Accurate?

Is Prostate Self-Exam Safe and Accurate?

Prostate self-exam is similar to a digital rectal exam performed in the doctor’s office. In fact, if you decided to examine your prostate, wear a latex glove and use a safe lubricant as you insert your finger into the rectum. Gently sweep the prostate with your finger, finding the boundaries, and note any areas of abnormal texture, nodules, or asymmetry.

How Does It Feel

You may discover a palpable lump or an area that is harder compared to the rest of the prostate, but you have to be aware that your best effort will only allow you to examine the posterior and lateral parts of the prostate gland. Although most prostate cancers arise in these regions, cancer can develop in the parts of the prostate gland you cannot reach.  Studies have shown that when urologists detect nodules by digital rectal exam, they are often advanced. A negative self-exam may give you false reassurance. Performing a prostate self-exam is not a substitute for your recommended screening exam, which will depend upon your age and risk factors.
The digital rectal exam is no longer widely recommended for screening, although it can detect abnormalities in areas within reach of the finger, if the abnormalities are palpable. However, this is not a sensitive test and a negative test should not give you reassurance. Instead, experts recommend use of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels for screening.

Doctor’s Note

Dr. Elist is a penile enlargement surgeon based in Beverly Hills. Prostate examination and prostate consideration are important factors in determining eligibility for penis enlargement surgeries. Contact Dr. Elist to learn more.

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