TODAY anchors Matt Lauer and Al Roker agreed to get prostate exams live on national television on Thursday morning.
Both men underwent a digital (as in finger, not computer) rectal exam performed by Dr. David Samadi. Samadi is the chairman of urology and chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He’s also been Lauer’s urologist for five years.
The exams took about 34 seconds each and were not shown on TV. Mostly, we listened to Dr. Nancy Snyderman explain why men should get screened for prostrate cancer — according to the TODAY show one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.
Fortunately, getting screened for prostate cancer is pretty easy.
“It doesn’t hurt at all,” Lauer said after his quick exam. He added: “Is it the best 34 seconds of your life? Probably not. But if in 34 seconds a doctor can detect something that might save your life, what are we talking about?”
A digital rectal exam is one of two tests that are used to screen for prostate cancer. A doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the size of the prostate. They are looking for lumps and other abnormalities.
The other test is a controversial blood test for a substance made by the prostate called prostate specific antigen, or PSA. The doctors monitor a man’s blood level of PSA to see if its changes over time. Generally, the PSA level in the blood is higher in men who have prostate cancer. However, only about 25% of men who get biopsies based on PSA test results actually have cancer, according to WebMD.
Watch the full clip below, courtesy of the TODAY show.
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