The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) Test is a medical procedure that is commonly used by doctors to screen for prostate cancer. It is a quick and simple test that involves the insertion of a lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. In this article, we will explore the basics of the DRE test, including its purpose, what to expect during the exam, and normal ranges.
What is a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) Test?
The DRE test is a medical exam that involves the insertion of a lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. This exam is used to detect abnormalities or any sign of prostate cancer in the gland. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
What is the purpose of a DRE Test?
The purpose of a DRE test is to screen for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer that affects men, particularly those over the age of 50. The DRE test is usually performed as part of a routine physical exam or as a follow-up test after a blood test known as the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test.
How is a DRE Test performed?
During the DRE test, the patient will lie on their side with their knees bent towards their chest. The doctor will insert a lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. The exam usually takes less than a minute and may cause some discomfort, but it is not usually painful.
What is the normal result/interpretation for a DRE Test?
During the DRE test, the doctor will check for the size, shape, and consistency of the prostate gland. A normal prostate gland should feel smooth and rubbery, with no hard lumps or bumps. The normal ranges for a DRE Test are summarized in the table below:
|Prostate Gland Consistency||Normal Range|
|Smooth and rubbery||Normal|
|Hard lumps or bumps||Abnormal|
What are the possible abnormal findings in a DRE Test?
The abnormal findings in a DRE Test may include hard lumps, nodules, or bumps on the prostate gland. These abnormal findings may be a sign of prostate cancer or other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate gland. If the doctor detects any abnormality during the DRE test, further tests, such as a biopsy or imaging test, may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis.
Is a DRE Test painful?
The DRE Test may cause some discomfort, but it is not usually painful.