Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Prostate update

Because I've gotten so many requests, it's time for... "The Prostate Update."

Today, it looks good. After slapping on a rubber glove and slipping my finger into the rectal cavity, here's what I did:

–By gently rotating my hand, I used the pad of my index finger to feel to the left, right and then directly backwards (i.e. towards yourself) and along the sacrum. I made note of any irregularities/masses. I did, however, feel a fluctuant collection, common in the case of my pelvic abscess associated with a perforated appendix.

–I oriented my finger so that it was directed anteriorly upon prostate gland, which I palpated through the wall of the rectum.

It was then important for that I made note of the following:

–The prostate has two lobes with a cleft running between them -- I distinctly felt each lobe, which were symmetric. There were no discretely firm areas; normal prostatic tissue feels more or less like the tip of your nose. (Anything firmer is suspicious for malignancy.) If I had felt a firm area, I would've checked to see if the prostate was freely mobile, or if it had felt fixed to the pelvis -- which can occur via direct extension of a malignancy.

–This was important -- did my prostate gland feel big? If the criteria for a healthy prostate size is that it's small enough to get my finger over the top of the gland, then no. Not too big.

I hope that tides you over, dear reader. Next week, I'll fill you in on... "The State of the Perineum."