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Old 12-07-12, 06:48 PM   #1
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High(er) PSA Test & Cyling

My PSA blood test results have been creeping up. 5 this summer and 5.6 last month. My Urologist is not too upset or concerned with these numbers. His response was "Welcome to age 62", knowing I cycle about 4,000 miles a year. He said he would see me in 6 months and see if things are going anywhere.

Since BF is the ultimate place to get solid medical advice, what do you'all think on this?
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Old 12-07-12, 07:17 PM   #2
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What was your PSA in the past 5 yrs? Did it jump from .1 to 5 this year?

Your PSA will go up with any prostate enlargement. Prostates naturally enlarge as we age so it's not unusual to have PSA go up without it being caused by cancer.

I would follow your doctor's advice. Presumably he did a DRA to determine if there was any abnormal enlargement?
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Old 12-07-12, 07:43 PM   #3
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Couple years older than you are and know too well the angst associated with the PSA test and its numbers.

I had on two occasions high numbers (15 years apart), ultimately due to infections most likely from cycling and dehydration with too much alcohol and caffeine--changed my saddles but obviously did not help that much although more comfortable with less pressure on the critical area. Prostate infection will increase the PSA test numbers sometimes through the roof.

You should also have the test done after a week of sexual, alcohol and caffeine abstinence! possibly cycling as well? These factors are known to increase the numbers!

You could also drink cranberry juice which some people think helps, and there are some over the counter pills specifically designed to help as well.

Good luck!
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Old 12-07-12, 09:01 PM   #4
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You should also have the test done after a week of sexual, alcohol and caffeine abstinence! possibly cycling as well?
Would that week be worth living???

Try not to stress over the numbers in the absence of symptoms. (None were mentioned.)
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Old 12-08-12, 01:40 AM   #5
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I had no symptoms of P Ca. when the doc said "You are of that age so bend over". High PSA count of 16 and Biopsy confirmed P Ca. Surgery and PSA count of "0" and that was back in 2001.

Regular PSA count from now on but the only true test is the biopsy.

Edit

Prostate Cancer can be dangerous but medical science has advanced greatly in the past few years. It can be detected at a very early stage so the concerns you have right now may not be warranted. It may be years before it develops further or may not evolve into anything serious. Then the treatment and cures that are around may not be any more than an inconvenience. Cranky Old Dude recently had a worrying time with elevated PSA and the Biopsy proved that he has nothing to worry about. The current PSA test is only an indicator that something may be going wrong but until a biopsy confirms that you have P Ca.- then do not worry.
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Old 12-08-12, 07:14 AM   #6
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If you have a PSA test done on a regular basis, your urologist is most likely looking at the PSA Velocity and not just the PSA value. If your PSA was 5 this summer and a 7 at the last reading, I would think he would have a concern and may have you consider further tests. Too many people get hung up on PSA values when they should be looking at the PSA Velocity. When my PSA went from 2.4 to 4.6 in one year, my doctor became concerned and scheduled another test six months later. That test was 6.8 and a biopsy was done which revealed a very aggressive cancer (8.8 on the Gleason Score). There are several good web sites that explain PSA Velocity and its importance. A few of them are heavy reading, but most are written in simple to understand terms. As mentioned, a biopsy is the only way to positively identify the presence of cancer. Until your urologist orders one, don't get hung up on PSA results.
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Old 12-08-12, 11:57 AM   #7
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It is an unspoken/undiscussed fact that the more often you exercise your prostrate the less chance there is for old toxic sperm to build up.

Your prostrate is like any other muscle in your body.......use it or lose it.
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Old 12-08-12, 01:22 PM   #8
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The problem w/ PSA is that the test is a snapshot of a function which fluctuates widely over time, much as blood sugar and blood pressure do. In signal processing, we would refer to PSA test results as seriously undersampled. That's why it is so important to have the same conditions over the week leading up to each PSA reading. John V. is correct that the only thing that really matters is rate of change, rather than the absolute level itself, which varies widely among healthy men. PSA is a flawed test with an absurdly high false positive rate, but it is unfortunately the best we have with today's technology. I fully expect it to be obsolete and replaced by a more reliable test by the time my sons are old enough to worry about prostate cancer.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:08 PM   #9
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I should have added that for all of us men of a certain age to stay away from cold medicine that contains antihistamines. It does help to thin the mucus membranes and relieve cold symptoms, but unfortunately it thins the membrane protecting the prostate. This particularly for men with BPH symptoms.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:23 PM   #10
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Just had my PSA a couple weeks ago. It will be my last the docs say. After a certain age they say statistically a guy is more likely to die with the cancer than from it. He also confirmed my long standing suspicion that unless the colon is clean a digital rectal exam depends too much on how educated the examiner's finger is. So, they are downplaying that as well. (Frankly it irritated me a bit when the surgeon who did my colonscopy said she didn't do a DRE because that "isn't my job". She could have not only done the DRE but visually examined it.

At this point I think a person has to look at the total picture. Do you have symptoms of BPH? Any abnormal colors or volume? Any physical symptoms? Then check the PSA and, after cleaning the colon, have a urologist or other provider who has a well educated finger do a DRE. Most of all don't worry, that seems to make the bad things more powerful.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:42 PM   #11
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I should have added that for all of us men of a certain age to stay away from cold medicine that contains antihistamines. It does help to thin the mucus membranes and relieve cold symptoms, but unfortunately it thins the membrane protecting the prostate. This particularly for men with BPH symptoms.
I haven't taken cold medicine, etc. or drank coffee, etc., for many years. It completely stops all urinary output processes and I end up bleeding from places one should not bleed. Even decaf has enough caffeine in it to cause problems,

Yet, my PSA is always way low, and the doc says the prostate is normal to small.

Go figure.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:46 PM   #12
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It is an unspoken/undiscussed fact that the more often you exercise your prostrate the less chance there is for old toxic sperm to build up.

Your prostrate is like any other muscle in your body.......use it or lose it.
prostrate - lying down
prostate - gland in the body

So, I guess one exercises the prostate while prostrate?
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Old 12-08-12, 08:59 PM   #13
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prostrate - lying down
prostate - gland in the body

So, I guess one exercises the prostate while prostrate?
Oh hell, You know what I mean!!

So what if I can't spell once in a while.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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Old 12-08-12, 09:00 PM   #14
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It is an unspoken/undiscussed fact that the more often you exercise your prostrate the less chance there is for old toxic sperm to build up.

Your prostrate is like any other muscle in your body.......use it or lose it.
You got it right...
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Old 12-09-12, 07:28 PM   #15
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My PSA blood test results have been creeping up. 5 this summer and 5.6 last month. My Urologist is not too upset or concerned with these numbers. His response was "Welcome to age 62", knowing I cycle about 4,000 miles a year. He said he would see me in 6 months and see if things are going anywhere.

Since BF is the ultimate place to get solid medical advice, what do you'all think on this?
I recently began reading a book by John Ratey, MD called "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain'.

It seems to be reasonably well done and well researched so I am believing what he says. And on page 84 he says:

"... physically active people have a 50% less chance of developing colon cancer; and active men over 65 have a 70% lower chance of developing the advanced, typically fatal form of prostate cancer."

... Sure hope that he's right!

... And best of luck at your next check-up!
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Old 12-10-12, 08:24 PM   #16
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Oh hell, You know what I mean!!

So what if I can't spell once in a while.
Spellchecker would have been of know help in this case.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:28 PM   #17
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I recently began reading a book by John Ratey, MD called "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain'.

It seems to be reasonably well done and well researched so I am believing what he says. And on page 84 he says:

"... physically active people have a 50% less chance of developing colon cancer; and active men over 65 have a 70% lower chance of developing the advanced, typically fatal form of prostate cancer."

... Sure hope that he's right!

... And best of luck at your next check-up!
Well, then, I guess I'll continue to play in the street even after hitting 65 in a couple of years. The way I see it, cycling keeps me immature. Anything about immaturity in that book?
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Old 12-11-12, 01:42 PM   #18
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Spellchecker would have been of know help in this case.
I'm fighting a bad case of "dry eye" now so just seeing to type is a major trick! A little slack please...........
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-13-12, 04:20 PM   #19
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My doctor said that Androgel (for low T) will increase the size of my prostate and possibly bump up my PSA number. Annual physicals and semi annual checkups, all with blood work keeps things in perspective. You are a FOOL not to get a colonoscopy as soon as one can be prescribed. It provides an absolute baseline. You don't want to try cycling with a colostomy bag duck taped to your side. Ask my brother.
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Old 12-13-12, 06:27 PM   #20
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About a year and a half ago, my PSA was elevated and my prostate was large enough for my urologist to do a prostate biopsy. The results came back positive, albeit a low "grade 3". He explained that for me, there was no difference in life expectancy with or without surgery, so I passed on getting sliced and diced. I have to go back every six months for a PSA test and the fickle finger of fate, but that's it.

It's important to note that I'm required to stay off the bike for two weeks prior to the PSA test. Apparently, any extended pressure and vibration to the perennial (sp?) area will cause elevated PSA readings. This includes cycling, using a riding mower, etc. It makes me wonder how much this might affect us older cyclists in terms of artificially elevated PSA results.
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Old 12-13-12, 08:38 PM   #21
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If you have a PSA test done on a regular basis, your urologist is most likely looking at the PSA Velocity and not just the PSA value.
+1 ! Mine doubled in one year, (but still within 'normal' range for my age.) Re-tested a few months later and higher yet. Biopsy. Cancer found. Full Prostatectomy performed, and levels found to be even higher. Peace of mind (no sword hanging over my head) found.
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Old 12-13-12, 10:03 PM   #22
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Had prostrate cancer about 7 years ago, at age 73.
Been an avid bicyclist and covered over 300,000 miles on hard saddles. Never an issue with pain.
Test/biopsy revealed that one half of prostate had 80% cancer, the other half 20% cancer.
Doing some research, opted for the radioactive seed implant method rather than surgery/removal.
Doctor suggested added chemo theraphy, but I declined.
Now my PSA readings are below 1.
Worked for me.
Both sex life (+ a little blue pill) and cycling are still GREAT!
Pedal on!
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Old 12-14-12, 05:56 AM   #23
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I hope you do some other aerobic or any other exercise if you have to stay off the bike for 2 weeks. Of course you don't have to stay off--just ride standing up all the time.
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Old 12-14-12, 07:39 PM   #24
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Had prostrate cancer about 7 years ago, at age 73.
Been an avid bicyclist and covered over 300,000 miles on hard saddles. Never an issue with pain.
... Now my PSA readings are below 1.
Worked for me.
Both sex life (+ a little blue pill) and cycling are still GREAT!
Pedal on!
Rudy/zonatandem
Wow! As a newbie cyclist I can't tell you how impressive 300,000 miles is...

To put it in perspective: Neil Armstrong didn't have to fly that far to get to the moon!

(And congrats too on your PSA test)

Best of luck to you!
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Old 12-14-12, 10:42 PM   #25
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Thanks for the replies and Merry Christmas to all. Will report back in 6 months. Glad to hear I do not seem to be in imminent danger.
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