What’s After the Digital Rectal Exam?
So I am forty-two years old right now, and I just recently had my fourth annual DRE. Because I also had some blood in my stool (which I mentioned to my doctor during my most recent annual physical), he decided to do a sigmoidoscopy on me. The sigmoidoscopy is fairly invasive – it involves inserting a medical instrument into your ass. This instrument has a camera on the end of it – and the doctor literally looks around inside your colon for any abnormalities. In my case, he was looking for hemorrhoids, polyps, or signs of any other colon-related disease – fortunately he found none. Turns out that the blood in my stool was caused by an internal hemorrhoid that had ruptured – which is fairly common. If you do experience any anal bleeding, definitely get checked out right away. I’ve had hemorrhoids off and on for many years, so I was reasonably sure that the bright red blood in the toilet was the rupture of a hemorrhoid, but you cannot take any chances. If you experience blood in the toilet, don’t be alarmed – just get checked … it is the safest thing to do for yourself and your health.
Useful Prostate Links for Midlife Bachelors
WebMD – Digital Rectal Exam
WebMD – Colorectal Cancer Guide
The Science Quarterly – Introduction to Prostate Cancer