cycling and PSA levels

jdd

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#1
This is just a ramble, but if anyone has any ideas/input/suggestions, I'm listening.

I'm 61, and on my yearly physicals at work my PSA level has been above normal over the last two years. Due to that, I've been to a doctor to discuss it (among other things).

I do know there are studies, such as this one, but cycling ergometers seem to come in different flavors--some of them seem like they would be identical to riding a road bike, while others seem to resemble fitness club exercise bikes. And they don't say what type was used. If they used a fitness club type of bike, I'd wonder if a road bike would produce more striking results. Also, what happens at 2 or 3 hours, instead of just 1.

Along the same lines, there are news stories based on that kind of research:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/h...creases-warning-signs-of-prostate-cancer.html

In that article they mention staying off a bike for two days before a PSA test. The day before my May physical, I did a two hour ride in the afternoon, then did the physical mid-morning the next day, and got a high PSA number (6.210). At last year's physical my PSA was 5.050, and when I looked up that day on GarminConnect, it turns out I did ride that day, but it is not clear exactly how much of it was before that test. (The track shows me going to work, but then doing another hour after that--which means I could've commuted to work and done the test and then ridden more later in the day, or I could've done the full 90mins before the test. I'd guess it was just the commute--an easy 26-28 minutes--but I'm not sure.)

But then a couple weeks ago at my doc's office he repeated the test, and this time I had also done two hours of cycling, but it was two full days before the test (52-53 hrs before, to be exact). This latter test came back as 4.1, which is only fractionally above the top of the normal range.

At the time, he asked that I take a week off of cycling, and then do the test again. So since this is exams time at work, and it's been horribly rainy, this is my week off, and I'll go back to the doc's on Monday or Tuesday to do another PSA. One thing I've learned thru my googling is that there is the regular PSA test (sometimes called tPSA, for total or free PSA), and there is also an fPSA test, which is apparently a better indicator of cancer or not. I'll be asking him about this.

I have also been warned that a prostate biopsy is one of the more painful tests out there. I think it's to my doc's credit that he wants to watch this a little instead of referring me to a trigger-happy urologist.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#2
Interesting. Although I do free breast cancer examinations I'm not going to branch out into prostate exams.
I have never had a PSA test but would like to get one.
Is it a free test for over 60s in Japan?

I've only had one prostate exam and that was in Japan...was a tag team...nurse dabbed the doorway with some kind of KY jelly... Dr. probed in lightning pace, so fast in fact I can't believe he could have determined anything. Tag. Nurse wiped the gel off. Next day nurse gives me a sheepish grin in the corridor!
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#4
I have also been warned that a prostate biopsy is one of the more painful tests out there. I think it's to my doc's credit that he wants to watch this a little instead of referring me to a trigger-happy urologist.
Quite so. Various things can cause an elevated PSA level on a test including, apparently, recent bicycle riding. Makes sense to me - cycling involves a lot of activity and a variable amount of trauma in the trouser department. If I were my prostate gland, I think I'd be irritated.

I don't think anyone has suggested a link between cycling and prostate cancer. Just that cycling can lead to false positive test results.

Hopefully, then, not cycling for a few days before the test will give a true nothing-to-worry-about figure, again.
 

jdd

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#5
...
I have never had a PSA test but would like to get one.
Is it a free test for over 60s in Japan? ...
I get a free production-line style physical yearly at work (if you miss it, they'll set up the same at one of a couple local hospitals). Some of it is BS, such as the vision and hearing tests, and I've always skipped drinking the goop and getting a stomach x-ray, but the blood workup is the same as you'd get anyplace else. I think the PSA was added when I turned 50, or was it 55?

They've recently added a follow-up chat--counselling--to discuss health goals/numbers. Unfortunately, when I told them I was a cyclist it didn't compute, it was like I had just mentioned what I had for breakfast or something. As in the above article, some medical people (and some cyclists) are unaware of the possible link. I'll have to see what my results are next week.
 

jdd

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#6
A late followup: Early last week, after 8 days of no bike, the PSA was still high (4.5), and the doc said they refer to a urologist when it's over 4.0.

But he says it's not an emergency, and since my wife and I are taking overseas trips over the next four weeks, I'm going to leave that for the latter half of September.

I don't think anyone has suggested a link between cycling and prostate cancer. Just that cycling can lead to false positive test results.

Correct, and even a high PSA number does not indicate cancer, just a sign that that might be possible.

Doc also said that the first step at a urologist is not biopsy but a small vibrator, uh, ultrasound unit up the butt. Apparently the finger test is passé.

(I trust this guy. He's a little younger than I am, and before opening his own clinic he was at the local uni hospital doing transplant research. I tutored him once upon a time, but then we lost contact, he went on to the states for 3-4 years, 18 months of it at Mayo (and the rest at a NYC trauma center). His oldest and my younger went to high school together, and he swims a couple days a week at my school pool so we talk there sometimes.)
 
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