Are Routine Digital Rectal Exams Helpful In Detecting Asymptomatic Prostate Cancer?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Jason Profetto, MD, CCFP Family and Academic Medicine Chair, Clinical Skills Undergraduate Medical Education McMaster University

Dr. Jason Profetto

Dr. Jason Profetto, MD, CCFP
Family and Academic Medicine
Chair, Clinical Skills
Undergraduate Medical Education
McMaster University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 Response: The main reason that prompted me to investigate the issue of digital rectal exams in primary care for prostate screening was that it appeared to be rather dogmatic practice (continually practiced by many despite updated data suggesting a lack of benefit).  I was very curious to see if there was any data that suggested the digital rectal exams was indeed a useful indicator in primary practice (ie. Family Medicine) in detecting prostate cancer in asymptomatic men.  Intuitively, I didn’t believe the DRE was accurate mainly because in medical school it’s generally under-represented in clinical skills teaching and poorly taught and assessed (not just in Ontario, but also Canada).  As a result, it seemed bizarre to me that this specific clinical skills was being used as a routine measure in family medicine to screen for prostate cancer.  Also, for me this was a big issue as many men in my practice were used to having yearly “rectal exams” done and I thought it was time to really take a closer look at the research to see whether or not we can support this practice.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings suggest that the digital rectal exam is not helpful/accurate in detecting prostate cancer in asymptomatic men in family practice or primary care.

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American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Launches Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS to Help Address Teen Under-Vaccination

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hughes Melton, MD, MBA, FAAFP AAFP Foundation president

Dr. Melton

S. Hughes Melton, MD, MBA, FAAFP
AAFP Foundation president

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this initiative? What are the main vaccinations that teens should have?

 Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adolescents receive four immunizations – two of which are administered as multi-dose series – to help protect against meningococcal meningitis caused by serogroups A, C, W and Y; human papillomavirus (HPV); tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap); and influenza (flu).1 Despite these recommendations, millions of teens remain vulnerable to serious infectious disease.2,3

Family physicians are well equipped to immunize their patients against a host of common infectious diseases and improve public health. However, discussing teen vaccinations during annual appointments may present challenges due to other issues teens and their parents/guardians may be focused on at this age. The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP Foundation) launched Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS to help remind family physicians and their care teams to make immunization a priority at these key appointments for teens.

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