Consultant urologist Chris Eden from the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford says that cycling can temporarily raise levels of the glycoprotein prostate-specific antigen (PSA), potentially leading doctors to mistakenly recommend that the patient undergo a biopsy to test for prostate cancer, which may be indicated by excessive levels of PSA.
"Unfortunately some doctors may be unaware that cycling can spuriously raise a man`s PSA levels and so refer their patient for further and unnecessary treatment,” explained Mr Eden, “all because their cycling produced a false positive." he said.
He added that the heightened levels of the glycoprotein among bike riders did not in itself give rise to an increased risk of contracting prostate cancer.
"Cycling does raise PSA levels but only temporarily. So the way to distinguish whether cycling has caused a rise in levels is to refrain from getting on a bike for 48 hours and then having a second PSA test. The levels will have dropped if cycling was responsible for the rise," he said.