Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
What To Think About
- If a digital rectal exam (DRE) is being done to screen for prostate cancer, the examination may be combined with a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The two tests are often done together to check for prostate cancer. For more information, see the topic Reference Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA).
- Other tests may need to be done after a DRE if problems are felt. You may need a test for blood in the stool or a visual examination of the anus and rectum (anoscopy or sigmoidoscopy). For more information, see the topics Reference Sigmoidoscopy and Reference Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).
- A Reference transrectal ultrasound Opens New Window and a prostate Reference biopsy Opens New Window may be done if the DRE or PSA test shows that prostate cancer may be present. For more information, see the topics Reference Pelvic Ultrasound and Reference Prostate Biopsy.
- DRE alone is not used to check for colorectal cancer. If problems are found during a DRE, more tests may be needed, such as a Reference sigmoidoscopy Opens New Window, Reference colonoscopy Opens New Window, or stool test. For more information, see the topics Reference Sigmoidoscopy, Reference Colonoscopy, or Reference Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
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