Medical Definition of Digital rectal exam

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Digital rectal exam: A routine exam in which a physician inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels for abnormal areas to detect rectal cancer and, in a man, inflammation, enlargement, or cancer of the prostate as well as nerve problems indicated by reduction of the normal tone of the muscles of the rectal sphincter.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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