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Definition of Digital rectal exam

Digital rectal exam: A routine exam in which a physician inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels for abnormal areas to detect rectal cancer and, in a man, inflammation, enlargement, or cancer of the prostate as well as nerve problems indicated by reduction of the normal tone of the muscles of the rectal sphincter.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2995
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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