DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) - This exam is usually done first. Many doctors perform a DRE as part of a routine physical exam for any man over 50, some even at 40, whether the man has urinary problems or not. You may be asked to bend over a table or to lie on your side holding your knees close to your chest. The doctor slides a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate that lies next to it. This exam tells the doctor whether the gland has any bumps, irregularities, soft spots, or hard spots that require additional tests. You may find the DRE slightly uncomfortable, but it is very brief.

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