The Digital Rectal Exam

The digital rectal exam (DRE) is recommended in conjunction with the PSA test. During the exam, a doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for bumps or hard areas in the prostate that may be cancerous.

The DRE is less sensitive than the PSA test, but is able to find cancers in men with normal PSA levels, so the American Cancer Society recommends the tests be used together. The DRE can also be used after a diagnosis to determine spread or recurrence of the cancer.