Annual physical exams are a bitch. It’s true. Not only do you have to spend an entire hour with your doctor (what a waste of time right?), but the checkup process includes a variety of things that would make anyone uncomfortable. Unlike women, men have to go through their PSA which helps to screen for prostate cancer. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can cause you quite a bit of anxiety beforehand as well. Having your prostate examined is important, regardless of how terrible it can be. You’ll be able to detect prostate cancer at an early stage and hopefully prevent the loss of your life.You really can die from this disease. A lot of people forget that and it’s important to remember that a quick couple minutes of pain and discomfort can save your entire life. We’re pretty sure that you’d rather not die.
It’s much more important for you to get your prostate screened as you get older. Studies have recommended individuals that are 45 years and older to get theirs checked out each and every year. Which is why it’s nice to have it fall along with your annual check up as opposed to a free standing appointment. Might as well get it all done at once as opposed to several visits to the hospital right?
So what can you expect?
When you go in to see your doctor, they may first begin by asking you series of questions, such as whether or not your prostate’s health systems are up to pair. How’s your urine stream like? Is it weak, do you dribble or feel like you’re straining? Or is there even blood and sperm in your urine. Make sure to always volunteer family history if your brother or father have been known to have prostate cancer. Even if the doctor doesn’t ask you these questions, it’s important to provide them with the information.
You can then expect one of the two different types of exams. The first is what most people fear:
Digital rectal exam (DRE) – this is where the doctor will put on a pair of gloves, lube up his fingers and then insert it into your rectum. You’re going to have to either bend over the examining bed or lie down on your side for this to work. You may have a tarnished dignity, but trust us, it doesn’t hurt. The size of your stool is larger than the doctor’s finger.
PSA blood test – the test will determine if there is a specific antigen present within your blood stream that is known to spike when prostate cancer occurs. However, you can have false positives as well and also false negatives. The PSA is not the best tool to screen for prostate cancer, but it is one of the best.