NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,780 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

digital rectal examination
(DIH-jih-tul REK-tul eg-ZA-mih-NAY-shun)
An examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. Also called DRE.

EnlargeDigital rectal exam; drawing shows a side view of the male reproductive and urinary anatomy, including the prostate, rectum, and bladder; also shows a gloved and lubricated finger inserted into the rectum to feel the prostate.

Digital rectal exam (DRE). The doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate to check for anything abnormal.