Is the digital rectal exam any good as a prostate cancer screening test?

Mike Kirby, Sam Merriel, Oluwabunmi Olajide, Alexander Norman, Nikhil Vasdev, Vishwanath Hanchanale, Michelle Cain, Malcom Wilkinson, Harley Stephens, Debbie Victor, William Kinnaird, Alison Tree, Amarnath Challapalli, Amy Rylance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is no shortage of references in popular culture to the prostate examination, with many a laugh built on the punchline of the finger up the bum. Interestingly, while cervical, breast, or bowel screening share barriers to uptake around the intimacy of the examination, ‘ick-factor’, or cultural taboos, they have never become comedy tropes — reflecting the uniquely emasculating perception of the rectal examination.
Original languageEnglish
Article number740
Pages (from-to)137-139
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Early online date29 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Feb 2024

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