What does a doctor look for during a digital rectal exam (DRE)?

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Mark S. Litwin, MD
Urology
During a digital rectal exam (DRE) for prostate cancer, the doctor will feel for nodules, hardness or lumps in the prostate gland itself. Because the location of the gland is immediately adjacent to the wall of the rectum, it's very simple to locate the prostate and examine it manually. If a lump is found, it could be an indication that there is a cancer growing in the prostate, and further tests will need to be done.

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