The prostate is the walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and above the rectum that is responsible for producing the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. The state of a man’s prostate can affect both his sex life and his overall health, and that’s why getting regular prostate exams is an important health screening tool for men.

Here, we’ll be looking at some of the most common myths about prostate exams, and the reality every man should know.

Myth: A prostate exam is used only as a cancer screening.

Reality: Cancer screening is an important function of a prostate exam, but that’s far from the whole story. The exam is also used as a tool to check for and diagnose an enlarged or inflamed prostate. These conditions, known as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can affect both sexual and overall health and can sometimes lead to serious complications when left untreated. 

In the United States, 1 man in 9