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Digital Rectal Exam
A digital rectal exam (DRE) is an exam of the rectum. During a digital rectal examination, a doctor or healthcare provider inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for anything unusual or abnormal, such as a tumor. This test can detect cancers of the rectum and the prostate gland, but not the colon. DREs may be conducted annually for men over the age of 50 who choose to be screened. Men in high-risk groups, such as African Americans, or those with a strong family history of prostate cancer, should consult their physician about being tested at a younger age or more often.