Prostate Cancer Screening: What are PSA and DRE

The prostate glands are an essential part of the male reproductive system. Cancer of the prostate can be deadly given the fact that it is not easily detected. Learning the importance of early prostate cancer screening could help you make smart decisions concerning your prostate’s health.

PSA Test

Prostate-Specific Antigens are present in your blood at all times, albeit at low levels. PSA are enzymes that are produced in the prostate. These antigens are produced as an essential part of the semen. They are believed to play a role in the human conception by dissolving cervical mucus and allowing the sperm to travel into the uterus. 

The objective of this test is to measure the amount of Prostate-Specific Antigens in the blood of male patients. A blood sample would be taken for laboratory analysis.

The test determines the levels of PSA in your blood, a higher PSA count could be associated with the development of prostate cancer. Having high levels of PSA does not necessarily influence any physical symptoms that might relate to prostate cancer. 

Interestingly enough, having higher levels of PSA in your blood could also mean that you may have a noncancerous condition that causes the spike in your PSA levels.


DRE stands for Digital Rectal Exam and is a process of examining the lower rectum and other internal organs. Since it is done for several reasons, both men and women can be subjected to this test.

As a part of prostate cancer screening, DRE is performed to detect bumps in the surface of the prostate, which could indicate prostate cancer. And because the prostate is just behind your rectal wall, it can be accessed through the anus.

DRE is a quick and practical way of checking the male’s prostate glands for any abnormalities, irregularities, and possible infection. DRE can also be used in the diagnosis of rectal tumors, assessment of the anal sphincter for fecal incontinence, and examination of hemorrhoids.

DRE can sometimes help detect prostate cancer in patients with normal PSA levels.

Importance Of Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate-Specific Antigen test and Digital Rectal Examination are two of the most commonly used procedures to help detect prostate cancer. 

There is a slight disagreement as to whether or not DREs cause PSA levels to rise. This makes other medical practitioners believe that to have an accurate reading when both exams are to be administered, blood samples for PSA should be taken before initiating a DRE.

Undergoing a prostate cancer screening is a decision that you have control over. You must not be worried since your trusted medical practitioner will help you decide on the best course of action.

Your doctors would also be able to discuss with you the importance of prostate cancer screening, especially for older men who are at an elevated risk of contracting this type of cancer. Overtreatment is also something your physician would take into consideration so you would not be easily subjected to these tests without your doctor’s approval.

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