5 Big No-Nos Before Your PSA Test: Could You Be Skewing Your Results?

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a crucial examination for men over 50 to identify their risk for prostate cancer. Despite the stress it may cause, understanding what not to do prior to taking the test can alleviate some concerns. Activities that need to be avoided 48 hours before the test include riding a bike, motorcycle, or tractor; participating in vigorous exercise such as horse riding and karate; receiving a prostate massage; having a digital rectal examination (DRE); and participating in sexual activities involving ejaculation.

Additionally, if you have a bacterial urinary tract infection, you should delay the PSA test until six weeks after completing antibiotic treatment. Other scenarios requiring a six-week delay for the PSA test include a prostate biopsy, cystoscopy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), urethral catheter, or any other procedure concerning the prostate. Factors that may affect PSA test results include chemotherapy, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) medications like Flomax or Proscar, testosterone-increasing supplements, recent injury to the pelvic area such as sports injuries, prostatitis, and an enlarged prostate from BPH. It is essential to inform your doctor of your medical history, medications, supplements, injuries, and treatments.

Lowering Your PSA

It’s crucial to understand what can raise your PSA test result and how to lower it. While a high PSA can signify a prostate health issue, it does not necessarily imply prostate cancer. Adopting healthy habits may lower both your PSA levels and the risk for prostate cancer and other benign prostate problems, such as BPH. Some suggestions include eating fewer meats and more vegetables, consuming tomatoes which are found to help lower PSA, drinking pomegranate juice, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels through methods such as meditation.

New and Upcoming Tests for Prostate Cancer

New tests for prostate cancer, including a urine test, can provide more specific information than the PSA test alone. This test can help doctors and patients understand if there is low-risk or high-risk prostate cancer, enabling more informed decisions about further testing and treatment. Moreover, an upcoming genetic test that predicts prostate cancer is in progress, which will also offer better insights into tumor aggressiveness, aiding in making more appropriate treatment decisions.

In conclusion, discussing your risk factors for prostate cancer with your doctor and knowing your PSA levels are critical steps in maintaining your prostate health. Make sure to avoid certain activities and be aware of the factors that can affect your PSA level for 48 hours before your test. For informative health content, explore these articles on male sexual health and foods for prostate health.