Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology / 2009 / Article

Original Article | Open Access

Volume 23 |Article ID 721870 | 4 pages |

Do Patients Undergo Prostate Examination while Having a Colonoscopy?

Received02 Mar 2008
Accepted19 Sep 2008


OBJECTIVES: To determine the rate at which physicians report performing a digital rectal examination and comment on the prostate gland before performing colonoscopy in men 50 to 70 years of age.METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all men 50 to 70 years of age who had a colonoscopy in Kingston, Ontario, in 2005 was completed. It was noted whether each physician described performing a digital rectal examination before the colonoscopy, and if so, whether he or she commented on the prostate.RESULTS: In 2005, 846 eligible colonoscopies were performed by 17 physicians in Kingston, Ontario. In 29.2% of cases, the physician made no comment about having performed a digital rectal examination; in 55.8% of cases, the physician commented on having completed a digital rectal examination but said nothing about the prostate; and in 15.0% of cases, the physician made a comment regarding the prostate. No physician consistently commented on the prostate for all patients, and in no circumstances was direct referral to another physician or follow-up suggested.DISCUSSION: A colonoscopy presents an ideal opportunity for physicians to use a digital rectal examination to assess for prostate cancer. Physicians performing colonoscopies in men 50 to 70 years of age should pay special attention to the prostate while performing a digital rectal examination before colonoscopy. This novel concept may help maximize resources for cancer screening and could potentially increase the detection rate of clinically palpable prostate cancer.

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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