Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers among men affecting 1 out of 7 males in the country today. However, only 25% of those suspected of prostate cancer will actually have it. If you have an elevated prostate specific antigen test, there are other common non-cancerous causes of an elevated PSA that may be to blame. These culprits of elevated PSA should always be considered before diagnoses are made.
Urinary Tract Infections
Any degree of inflammation near your prostate can and often does produce higher levels of PSA. If you suspect you have a UTI come in for a checkup. A quick urine specimen may mean all the difference in the right diagnosis.
While elevations are usually only slight, intercourse can temporarily raise prostate levels. If your PSA is already bordering above normal then this may send it over the tipping scale. While it may seem embarrassing, tell your doctor if you have had intercourse prior to testing and if you are due for a test, avoid sex for a couple of days before your exam.
While a level of 6.5 might be cause for concern for a man of 20… at 70 this may be considered normal. As you age, PSA levels naturally rise and may be entirely benign.
If you have recently had a catheter inserted or have had a rectal exam etc., you may have elevated PSA levels due to simple trauma. Trauma can elevate prostate levels causing false positives and undue worry. It is wise to allow your body to recover prior to testing. Your doctor will know if a wait time is appropriate and will be able to guide you into an adequate time frame for retesting.
An inflammation of the prostate gland can increase your PSA levels and may require antibiotics. The proper course of action depends on the cause. If your case is not bacterial, your treatment may be long term to keep inflammation at bay.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Not all gland enlargements are cancerous. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH is a wealth of additional cells. An overabundance of cells leads to more PSA production. This condition may require no treatment unless it begins to cause urination difficulties or urgency.
While it is controversial, some believe that cycling may cause an elevation of PSA. Other researchers find there is no indicative factors that prove this theory. Likewise, you likely need to cycle at a Tour de France level to even have this possibility be at the forefront of your mind.
Do not let elevated PSA create unwarranted anxiety for yourself and your loved ones. Keep up to date on all appointments, tests and rechecks. Listen to your doctor and take good care of your body. Prostate cancer has extremely high survival rates at 99%… meaning if you stay on top of your health or make an effort to start today even if your PSA elevation turns out to be cancerous, you can live a long, healthy life with the proper care and treatment. If you suspect prostate issues or have not been in for a visit in a while, contact us today and let us help you get healthy and stay that way.