While many men cite that it is not a very fun procedure, prostate checkups are extremely important to ensure health and wellness. A prostate checkup is also referred to as a digital rectal exam and usually involves a medical professional inserting a gloved and lubricated finger into the man’s rectum. During this examination, medical professionals are looking for abnormalities along the prostate, such as lumps, bumps and spots. The exam may not indicate what is wrong, but it does answer the question if further testing must take place.
According to the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, men at the age of 40 and on should have regular, annual prostate checkups. As men become older, they become prone to a number of diseases. There are two main reasons for the checkup. For one, medical professionals can check for benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as prostatitis. Benign prostatic hyperplasia refers to an enlarged prostate which can compress the urethra, causing bladder retention. Prostatitis refers to the inflammation of the prostate. A prostate checkup will tell the medical professional that prostatitis exists; however, further checking will determine whether it is acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis without infection, or asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Whichever one it is, the medical professional will be able to dictate the right course of treatment.
Prostate checkups are also the best form of early detection for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is extremely common and approximately one out of six men will be diagnosed with this form of cancer in their life. The early stages of prostate cancer are known to be asymptomatic and can only be detected with a prostate examination. Many men can lives years without ever noticing until it is too late. If detected early enough with this checkup, prostate cancer can be cured and survival rates go way up.
There are a number of factors that may put some men more at risk for prostate cancer than others, including age, family history of cancer, hereditary, lifestyle and race. If a family has a history of prostate cancer, it is extremely important that they get checked as well. And while men cannot control their heredity, age, family history and race, they can control their lifestyle. A number of cases of cancer have been linked with obesity. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle will lower one’s risk of prostate cancer…not to mention a number of other health conditions.
Aside from the prostate, the prostate checkup can find a number of other health concerns. This can include the inspection and evaluation of hemorrhoids and tumors in the area. If a man has a neurological disease or fecal incontinence, a prostate checkup is often utilized to estimate the overall tonicity of the man’s anal sphincter.
The significance of a yearly prostate checkup can never be stressed enough. Numerous men die every year due to prostate cancer, which could have been evaded with a simple prostate checkup with their doctor.