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Digital rectal examination

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

General medical examination
During a visit to the doctor, a male patient over the age of 50 may be asked questions about his general medical health and whether he has any specific symptoms. The answers that are given may prompt the doctor to carry out further tests to see if there is a possibility that the patient may have prostate cancer. 

Physical examination
A general physical examination can tell the doctor many things about the general medical health of a patient. A rectal examination is a more specific examination to help diagnose or rule out prostate cancer. The doctor will insert a lubricated, gloved finger into the back passage (rectum) to assess the size and shape of the prostate gland.