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Does Cycling Cause Prostate Cancer in Men?

Image: Does Cycling Cause Prostate Cancer in Men?
Man riding a bike through the fields. (Photo Tuller/Dollarphotoclub)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 11:10 AM

Researchers continue to question how much cycling plays a role in prostate cancer risks for men. The overall health benefits of bicycle riding seem to outweigh the chances of developing this cancer. Men should focus more on regular check-ups with their doctor.

Researchers at University College London reported that men who biked more than 8.5 hours a week were more likely to have prostate cancer than the other men in a study published in the July 2014 issue of Journal of Men's Health, according to HealthDay

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However, the study is too small to reach a definitive conclusion and might not be correct because it didn't look deep enough into causation, according to Dr. Russ Hoverman, an oncologist in Austin, Texas. He noted that the study was voluntary and based on self-reported data, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The study surveyed more than 5,000 male cyclists from 2012 to 2013. About 2,000 of the subjects were over the age of 50 when the risk of prostate problems increases. Of the 498 men who biked the most in the study, 17 of them or 3.5 percent reported having prostate cancer. Out of 511 men who biked the least, only three of them or 0.5 percent reported having prostate cancer, reports HealthDay.

The results are "difficult to interpret," admitted Dr. Milo Hollingworth, the lead author of the study. The findings should not discourage men from continuing to bike ride. "The benefits for your heart, lungs, whole body and mental health are much more important," says Dr. Hollingworth.

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The prostate is a small gland important to men's reproductive systems. Other studies have linked the excess pressure on the prostate area from bike riding to an increased risk for erectile problems and infertility. Many bike manufacturers are now designing softer seats to reduce the pressure.

Regardless of any connection between cycling and prostate cancer, men over the age of 50 should consult their physicians for screening and testing if they experience problems from bike riding, according to Dr. Robert Puig, a urologist and prostate cancer surgeon at Baptist Hospital of Miami and South Miami Hospital.

Regular check-ups for prostate issues are advised because prostate cancer often doesn't have symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms include trouble urinating, decreased flow, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, discomfort in the pelvic area, and pain in the lower back, hips or thighs.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Researchers continue to question how much cycling plays a role in prostate cancer risks for men. The overall health benefits of bicycle riding seem to outweigh the chances of developing this cancer. Men should focus more on regular check-ups with their doctor.
Men Prostate, Cycling, Cancer, Health
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2015-10-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 11:10 AM
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