Rectal examination: an urban taboo. Its importance in the detection of prostate cancer.


Man, throughout history, has been subjected to various urban taboos. Among them is the one concerning the medical examination by the urologist, which has been the subject of great controversy. For many patients it is complex and difficult to accept the DRE, as they feel their privacy is violated, as well as their manhood.

A study published last August in the journal Cancer Epidemiology confirms and promotes further awareness of the importance of the digital rectal examination of the prostate, by means of which some tumors can be felt in patients who might, nevertheless, show normal or even low levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA, for its acronym in English).

An even more troubling finding has shown that those patients in whom a prostate tumor is confirmed by rectal examination of the prostate-and despite normal or low levels of PSA- have a higher risk of death from cancer.

Let’s not forget: better a rectal examination in time than a cancer ravaging our lives. Do it, without fail, have your annual urological checkup… Oscar Darío Martín G. Urologist.