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Checking for Health: Male Prostate Exam

The prostate exam age is normally around age forty for most men. If there has been a family history of prostate cancer, the age will be decreased so that the exams start earlier which allow doctor’s to find any problems as early as possible if they occur. A male prostate exam will also include a blood test when the individual reaches about fifty years of age, again if this is an average person without history of prostate problems. The PSA blood test allows cancer and other prostate issues to be diagnosed even when they cannot be felt by the doctor during the physical exam.

Exams and Male Health

Male prostate exams are very important in catching prostate cancer in the early stages rather than catching it once it is more advanced and begins to present other symptoms that cause the man to go to the doctor. The male prostate exams should be done once per year to make sure that the prostate is still in good health. Once the man reaches fifty, he will also have the PSA blood test to make sure that there are not problems that the doctor could not feel, such as on the back of the prostate which cannot be felt through the rectal wall.

Many men shy away from doing the male prostate exam specifically because it makes them nervous and they do not want to have the doctor feel in their rectum for the prostate. In the exam, the doctor will use his finger to feel for the prostate through the rectal wall. The prostate usually has two lobes to it that are smooth and approximately the same shape and size. When there are problems with the prostate, the man will have nodules or other abnormalities with the prostate which the doctor can feel during the exam. The exam usually goes very quickly so that it is painless and does not prolong the process.

If there is an abnormality, the PSA blood test is administered after the male prostate exam so that it can check for the presence of a specific enzyme that is made by the gland. Normally the levels of this enzyme are in the zero to four range. When there is cancer present, the levels are usually in the ten to twenty range. If the test shows that the enzyme is in the higher ranges, then the individual will need to undergo further tests to see if it is cancer present or some other trouble with the prostate.

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