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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 23 (2009), Issue 1, Pages 37-40
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/721870
Original Article

Do Patients Undergo Prostate Examination while Having a Colonoscopy?

Tess Hammett,1 Lawrence C Hookey,2 and Jun Kawakami3

1Queen’s University School of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
2Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
3Department of Urology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Received 2 March 2008; Accepted 19 September 2008

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.

Abstract

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.