Speaks to The San Diego Union-Tribune about digital rectal exams & prostate cancer in African American men
Sometimes health issues trigger enough fear to cause patients to avoid necessary exams. Prostate cancer is one of those, although like many cancers, early detection can make a huge difference. The San Diego Union-Tribune article reminds men of the importance of detection exams, reporting that the digital rectal exam (DRE) causes the most hesitation.
“It’s a big hurdle,” said Dr. Julian Anthony, a urologist at California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence in San Marcos. “With a DRE, men have reservations because of concerns of testing through the bottom or rectum. If men are concerned about something inserted in the rectum, they should know it’s relatively not uncomfortable. An experienced urologist does it quickly and easily. It takes me about 10 seconds to do it”
Dr. Anthony also addresses the high risk for the disease in African American males. He says they are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer and get it at an earlier age than other men. “Being an African American myself,” said the San Marcos-based Anthony, “I give talks to churches and use other avenues to increase the awareness. Socioeconomic status is another reason. It’s multifactorial. In my practice, in general, men — especially younger men — are a little less likely to have access to health care. We need to address this with education about the importance of testing.”