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Men usually say ‘it’s not so bad’ after ‘finger’ exam for prostate cancer- Dr McLean-Hobdy

- says a blood test is a very reliable way of screening for prostate cancer but ‘finger’ rectal exam is still recommended
Despite a blood test being available for prostate cancer detection, Dr Erole McLean Hobdy, a board-certified Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, and the visionary behind Virgin Islands Oncology and Hematology, still recommends the digital rectal exam. Photo: Facebook/File
September is being recognised as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Photo:
September is being recognised as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Photo:
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI- Most men, particularly those concerned about prostate cancer, may be very happy to know there is a blood test that can reliably screen for prostate cancer, as men tend to shy away from the ‘dreaded’ digital rectal (finger) examination (DRE).

The blood test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate, a small gland that sits below the bladder in males.

PSA is mostly found in semen, which also is produced in the prostate. Small amounts of PSA ordinarily circulate in the blood.

The PSA test can detect high levels of PSA that may indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, many other conditions, such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate, also can increase PSA levels. Therefore, determining what a high PSA score means can be complicated.

Both tests recommended

This is why Dr Erole McLean-Hobdy, a board-certified Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, and the visionary behind Virgin Islands Oncology and Hematology, still recommends the digital rectal exam.

Dr McLean-Hoddy was a guest on the radio show Talking Points on ZBVI 780 AM on Monday, September 25, 2023.

The discussion focussed on prostate cancer due to September being recognised as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

“We recommend doing both tests. I just talked about the blood test, which is very helpful. The second test which you are referring to is the finger…when the doctor will put the finger in the butt. They put it in the butt and they can feel the prostate, and you are feeling the prostate for lumps and bumps."

Dr McLean-Hobdy said the prostate gland should be smooth and if it feels a little lumpy and there is some concern then the doctor will need to take a piece of the prostate tissue for testing in a laboratory. This is called a biopsy.

"So even though we know the blood test is very reliable it’s not a perfect test, so that’s why we still recommend that you should do both [tests]," Dr McLean-Hobdy stated.

Who is most at risk for prostate cancer?

Noting that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, Dr McLean-Hobdy added that older men above 60 years of age and those with a family history are most at risk.

She also said prostate cancer is most common in black men.

33 Responses to “Men usually say ‘it’s not so bad’ after ‘finger’ exam for prostate cancer- Dr McLean-Hobdy”

  • Really? (28/09/2023, 15:30) Like (22) Dislike (23) Reply
    You sure those are real men saying that?
    • @Really (28/09/2023, 17:51) Like (13) Dislike (7) Reply
      @Really, you are a certifiable mumu. You the same mumu if afflicted with disease will be crying like a little bi…ch to the doctor pleading for help. Wise-up below ditto.
      • lol (29/09/2023, 10:16) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        the man ain say ntn wrong..... no real men wants a finger in he butt and feel comfortable...... not saying you dont need to do the exam.... just dont try and make it seem less uncomfortable saying that men saying its not that bad
        • @LOL (29/09/2023, 17:57) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
          Auh man like you going suffer because of so called pride and ignorance. Need I say more!
  • Manjack (28/09/2023, 15:43) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Early detection is important in managing the health of the prostate. Detected early, doctors can used available processes to enhance a patient’s quality of life. Digital Rectal Exam(DRE), PSA, Biopsy, MRI (new tool), etc, are tools used in detecting prostate cancer. DRE cause some men fear and distress and it should not be. It is a simple exam between doctor and patient in the office. Let’s not used cultural fear keep us from getting testing, follow up and treatment if needed. Here is a news flash. A DRE does not make you a homosexual; it is just a medical test. Moreover, many men get tested but don’t follow up on the result or don’t proceed with the recommended treatment and succumb to the disease. Get tested today and avoid a doctor asking you why you waited so long to get tested, for the disease have spread widely. Finally, we must engaged in preventative healthcare management. As such, healthcare must be available, affordable and be quality. Healthcare should not be available just to the wealthy. Our local doctors must live up to the Hippocratic oath. Some local doctors’ cost are just “DEAR” , forcing patients to choose get care or not. This may make some uncomfortable but I keep it real.
    • RealPol (28/09/2023, 17:43) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Manjack, sensible and practical post. I like and endorsed the engaging in preventative care. I’m also concerned about the cost of medical care which limits the receipts of timely and adequate care, if at all. Is it about wealth over health?
    • Stealth (29/09/2023, 04:46) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Manjack, real talk. Black men are more predisposed than others to getting afflicted with prostrated cancer. Some of the comments are disappointing, unhealthy and risky. Misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, cultural Nansi Tory, etc, seems to be driving done of us into making some bad healthcare decisions, taking unnecessary risks which can be harmful and hazardous to our health. The DRE diagnostic tool/process seems to keeping be keeping men from getting testing. Here is a news flash. I!m not gay and the DRE is not going to make you gay. In fact a healthy prostate will keep you in the heterosexual longer. Get tested and treated. You owe it to you, your sexual health and quality of life, and your family.

      Moreover, a healthy nation is productive and progressive nation. Preventive care can, ie, routine testing and treatment can keep the territory healthy/healthier, lower national healthcare cost, lessen the burden on medical system and on providers. As such, healthcare must be accessible and affordable. Some medical providers needs to get a conscience, for their cost are unreasonably and extremely high; they are “Dear.” Your costs are making patients sicker which is contrarily and inconsistent with the Hippocratic Oath, ie, cause the patient no harm. The NHI system was well-intentioned but needs to be revamped. Specifically, the system should have set reasonable fixed costs for procedures. Providers who want to partake in the programme would have to agree to the terms and conditions. The current process is like putting rat to mind cheese. The greedy, sobs, etc are setting prices, seeing an opportunity to get wealth fast they are exploiting and raping system with the assistance of government. It makes one wonder if there were/is a conspiracy. The NHI system is going to collapse under its weighty burden. It will crash and burn. The current system is not sustainable. The system must be revamped to provide the best services to the most people at the least cost. There is a commentary running that the BVI is punching above its weight in sport. I’m excited about that but will be more excited if it were punching above its weight in accessible and affordable healthcare; healthcare is the most important national service. Some ah yu bex but who bex, bex. Truth is truth and painful and uncomfortable but real. Fix yourself—Norbert Wheatley aka Fix It.
  • wise-up (28/09/2023, 15:52) Like (8) Dislike (23) Reply
    no finger going up in the exit only hole, mens finna die a virgin
  • My wall (28/09/2023, 17:01) Like (12) Dislike (12) Reply
    Many of them funny men love this
  • x (28/09/2023, 18:11) Like (26) Dislike (5) Reply
    How they mean, "It's not so bad".... I am a man and that exam hurts like hell. I cry every time. I hate when that time of the year comes around, but you know what? I do it because I want to stay alive for the people who love me.
  • whatever (28/09/2023, 19:18) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    All the technology in the world braking records technology and the only way to check prostate is to finger man
  • sorry (28/09/2023, 19:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    DRE is painful for most men. Medical technology should be able to cure this problem but apparently this improvement has not happened yet!
  • Not sure why the stigma (28/09/2023, 19:40) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    There are plenty of married men sticking other things up there on the sly in these islands
  • FIRE (28/09/2023, 19:43) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    No real man would do that, only those who have a lil funny in them.
  • Weggie (28/09/2023, 19:53) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I know at least one politician who will enjoy this and he is not tall with a ball head
  • lol (28/09/2023, 19:56) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vino you are the best your headline got me cracking up
  • Mike Larry (28/09/2023, 21:23) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Agreed. I used to get an exam weekly, then doctor said monthly. May take a little bit of your time but atleast its enjoyable and ensures I stay healthy.
  • Where is the finger (29/09/2023, 00:01) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Finger finger finger not up my rear
  • resident (29/09/2023, 06:27) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    she is wrong fellas before you go in say a prayer that finger will change your life, the hole is an exit not an entrance
  • What! (29/09/2023, 06:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • red cross (29/09/2023, 08:37) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The local B.V.I Red Cross has been providing FREE prostate screening both blood and rectum checks here in the territory for over 25 years. Saved countless lives.
  • El Demonio Negro (29/09/2023, 09:22) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yea.... FISHY men. If you can't detect with blood screening mans like me haffi dead lol.
    • Mike Larry (29/09/2023, 15:15) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      @El Demonio Negro- my boy mehson you sound so ignorant. This thing saves lives! Who wants to be dead on a real? You can do this test at home daily between weekly doctor visits to make sure everything good. Sometimes I do it twice a day, once in the morning and before I go to bed. You can even help your friends with it too! No shame in staying healthy. Aint no one checking to be in no casket earlier than they need to be.
  • Thats not a finger (29/09/2023, 12:57) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why always 2 hands on the shoulders
    • @ That’s not a finger (01/10/2023, 15:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      So what do you mean by 2 hands on the shoulder?. Sounds dumb for a comment. I assume you’re thinking your sexual fetishes, but this is a serious matter, and not a joking matter. Keep your nasty minded comments to yourself.
  • Just saying (29/09/2023, 14:42) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Guys, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Prostate cancer is a potentially deadly disease. That’s really the point here so do all you can do to save your own life.
  • ausar (29/09/2023, 23:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you Dr. Hobdy, on the facts of this horrible disease!

    If you only knew the many of men, who have succumbed to this-digital, fingeral, and other methodologies, barring none,-RUN, not walk, to get checkups..

    Let us do what's neccesary as men, to stay alive!
  • Reply (30/09/2023, 15:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    They know and appreciate this fact, greatly.

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