Men often have substantial anxiety about the dreaded digital rectal exam associated with prostate cancer. Why is this exam necessary?  Well, it is one way health care providers can assess the prostate gland for any lumps, bumps, or tender spots concerning for possible prostate cancer, overgrowth, or infection. Most times, this exam is accompanied by a blood test as well.  The prostate is a gland the size of walnut located in the anterior portion of the rectum in males. It helps to produce some of the fluid in semen.  This is one of the most popular gender specific cancers for which there are regular screening recommendations.