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Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is my first post on this forum and figured I would start it off with a bang!

The following story is verbatim true (too personal not to be).

Seven weeks ago I turned 45. I had not had a full physical since age 40, so off to Kaiser Hospital I went. As part of most any doctor visit you get a lab slip to have blood and urine chemistry checked. The bad thing about these tests is the fasting that has to occur in advance to check Blood Sugar (I don't miss many meals).

As it turned out, my wife and I were embarking on a 28 day, 8,000 mile tour of the U.S. just a couple of days after my physical. I did not see how I was going to fast and get back to the hospital for the labs before we left on our trip, so like any normal male, I blew it off!

We left for our trip and had the best time of our lives. We have an '03 LT that we purchased used specifically for this trip (1,500 miles). We have all the bells and whistles, including heated everything, XM sat in our helmets, Highway pegs, arm rests, all the creature comforts. The bike was a dream to ride, got about 43 miles/gallon (and that is FULLY loaded, my wife does not travel light). The vacation was exactly what the doctor ordered (I thought).

A day after we returned home, I planned my fast and went to the lab for the blood and urine tests. A couple of days later my doctor (very nice guy, doesn't usually communicate a lot) called me at work, really shook up!

The doc said my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) reading was up from 5 years earlier and was TOO high for my age (4.2 if you are interested). I'm not a complete idiot and thus know what this likely means: Cancer of the Prostate (and if left untreated, is a death sentence albeit a typically slow progressing cancer). So we talked about the next steps, etc. and the doc gave me a referral to a urologist (the Kings of the DRE).

The urologist and I discussed the procedure for a needle biopsy of the prostate (it looks like so much fun, for the doc) and all of the life changes possibilities if cancer is detected. After about 15 mins of discussion, I challenged the doc about the accuracy of the PSA test itself. I told the doc that my wife and I had just completed a 8,000 mile road trip and that I consumed enough deep fried food to kill a bull moose. The doc said he really didn't think that my diet could have affected the PSA readings, but I still pressed him and said "look doc, I'm telling you we rode from one greasy spoon to the next". At that very moment the doc said "you rode?" and I said "yes, 6 hours a day, 28 straight days". The doc's eyes got as big as golf balls!

The doc then proceeded to explain that any inflammation, irritation, or injury of the Prostate can cause the PSA reading to be high (not only the presence of cancer cells). He thinks the long duration of our ride and my big bladder riding on top of the poor thing "may" be the root cause of the high PSA reading. We agreed to wait four weeks to retest the PSA and see if it drops at all.

There is always a possibility that the PSA may not have been affected by the ride and that I do have cancer (no tears for me... if it is cancer, that thing will be in a jar on my fireplace mantel lickety-split, would take it out myself if I had to). All the side effects (and they are HUGE) are much less to deal with than death..!!! I'll get an implant if it comes to that... and It will be just like the LT: Big, Stylish, Wonderfully Functional, fun in the twisties, and all the controls easy to reach!

I will know more in four weeks....

Either way, I started thinking, has anyone else ever heard of this prostate issue with extended motorcycle touring before????

Would love to hear any similar stories... if it turns out to actually be the case, maybe a magazine article is in order? What do you all think?
 

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Mine had to do with hemorrhoids from riding too much and too long between bowel movements. I never really have a problem with my rhoids, but I don't sit for long hours in the car or at home that could bring em on. When the doc found out I rode a motorcycle for longer periods, he told me to STOP and take breaks more often with some walking around a bit. Apparently he has other patients who ride alot and things just kinda get "packed in for too long" lololol.....
 

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General, it is quite possible that sitting on our "wonderful" seat gave you enough prostatic irritation to cause the PSA to go up. Moreover, you could also have some degree of prostatitis, which could also affect the reading. Nevertheless, it's a very good idea to have it rechecked and then deal with it if the results are still high. At your age it is unlikely, but still possible to have cancer of the prostate, but if that were the case, your PSA would likely be in the double digits.

I experience a related problem when riding Mein Byk for long distances. I get numbness in the perineum, the area where the prostate lives, due to a compression an artery called the pudendal artery. It supplies the "vital" organs with blood. Given the risks of impotence, not to metion the discomfort of the equipment getting numb, I changed the seat to a KonTour. It helped a lot, making my ride more comfortable, but the numbness still creeps in after a while. It's just the way I'm designed, and I can't fight nature, so I shift a bit and try to get comfortable. Prior to changing the seat, I tried an Airhawk cushion, but in my case it made the problem worse, as it had an airbladder in just the right spot to make me very numb after about 30 miles. It went back the next day. Although it didn't work for me, it may help you if your problem is related to the seat. If it doesn't, perhaps a new seat will do the trick. I really doubt you'll be told to give up riding, but you may want to consider shorter trips if the LT is the culprit :(

I wish you the best and remind you that all of the above has attached the customary disclaimers, etc. Seriously, though, I'm a pediatrician. The prostates I deal with won't be working for quite some time.
 

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Hey,

Look at EVERY option before you have that taken out...EVERY option. You are WAY to young to have that out.....considering what sexual things you will miss out on for the rest of your life. I believe that the ride had a lot to do with that, it was a total change of everything that you normally do in your life. Check it again in a couple of weeks, and then if necessary do a biopsy....but look at this thing VERY carefully before you go under a knife. I'd be happy to discuss other options with you if that looks like it might be something that is going to have to be done.

Gus
 

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GeneralMilliron asks:

Either way, I started thinking, has anyone else ever heard of this prostate issue with extended motorcycle touring before????

Would love to hear any similar stories... if it turns out to actually be the case, maybe a magazine article is in order? What do you all think?



Dez says:
ABSOLUTELY!! Dealt with it first hand myself with my Dad. Unfortunately it was too late for my Dad. First signs there was something wrong with my Dad was in mid 2002. We were riding our motorcycles around Australia. We did it in 9 weeks and covered 17,922 kilometers and i had my oldest brother with me as well.
My dad was only 58 and he started to get the "shakes" in his hands. I had a chat to my brothers about it and we are not doctors and just put it down to just old age creeping up on dad and we talked to dad bout it and he was of the same opinion and we continued on our merry way. Dad was riding his K1200RS.
We eventually made it back to Mount Isa, Queensland again and a few weeks later Dad collapsed at work, they thought he had a stroke.
I will never forget it September 11th 2002 11:30am. I went to hospital and saw dad and had a talk to the doctors. They did some examinations on dad and asked if dad rode motorcycles by chance. We told them yep he sure did and we had just got back from riding round Australia.
They did an anal examination on dad and found he had an enlarged prostrate and flew dad in tow Townsville general hospital and gave dad the full work over with cat scans the works. Dads prostrate was the size of a peach, apparently it is a *LOT* smaller then this usally. and they checked dads cancer markers and found they were thru the roof. They also found dad had brain tumour. It was between the 2 halfs of the brain right at the top of the skull. the doctors could not belive it and flew dad to brisbane for furthers tests and wound up seeing Doctor Bridgit Hickey at the PA (Princess Alexandria) Hopsital in Brisbane. Dr Hickey is one of this States leading doctors in cancer treatment. Long and short of it from a lengthy conversation with Bridget. Riding motorcycles does increase the chance of getting prostrate cancer severley, but its not the main cause of it.something else may have triggered it. The cancer in the prostrate has thrown out cancerous cells (most cancers do, they like to infect us as much as they can) and the cells wound up in dads brain. The tumour eventually got much bigger and they tried to zap it with radiation. they said it would do a few things, either it would do nothing to the cancer, stop it growing, or the cancer would feed of the radiation. Dad said, what the hell, got nothing to loose, just zap it and see what happens. Unfortunately the cancer feed on the radiation and not long after that the cancer was the size of both my palms pressed together and even caused dads skull to disfigure on the top of his head. Long and short of this, Dad eventually passed away march last year in hospital.by this stage there wasnt a spot left in dads bones that was not infected with cancer. they did a scan with some machine here in townsville that highlights the cancer in the bones and it was everywhere thru dads skeleton. id never seen anything like it in my life, nor do i want to ever again.
My brothers and i have been told to at the age of 35 go and see a doctor every year to be checked for cancer. i have only 4 years left before i need to start doing this and i assure you i will be, i suggest you do the same.
 

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Dez,

Sorry for your loss. I lost my brother and mom to cancer and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer myself shortly after my mom passed. Do NOT skip routine examinations! My cancer was caught by a chest x-ray at work. Without it, who knows if I would still be around. Cancer can be successfully treated, but the chances go up exponentially if it is detected EARLY.

Best wishes to the rest of your family, you have my empathy.
 

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Info from another web site to check out

Before you take radical measures, do lots of research. I found the following from a quick "google" search:

PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test

PSA is a protein made by normal cells and prostate cancer cells. It is found in the blood and can be measured with a blood test. PSA tests are often used to follow men after prostate cancer treatment. PSA testing is still being studied to see if finding cancer early lowers the risk of dying from prostate cancer.

PSA levels can rise if a man has prostate cancer, but a high PSA is not proof of cancer. Other things can also make PSA levels go up. These may give a false positive test result. These include having BPH or prostatitis, or if the prostate gland is disturbed in any way (riding a bicycle or motorcycle, a DRE, orgasm within the past 24 hours, and prostate biopsy or surgery can disturb the prostate). Also, some prostate glands naturally produce more PSA than others. PSA levels go up with age. African-American men tend to have higher PSA levels in general than men of other races.

Researchers are trying to find more answers about:
• The PSA test's ability to tell cancer from benign prostate problems
• The best thing to do if a man has a high PSA level

For now, men and their doctors use PSA readings over time as a guide to see if more follow-up is needed.

Here is the web address:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understanding-prostate-changes/page5
 

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RonKMiller said:
"Big, Stylish, Wonderfully Functional, fun in the twisties, and all the controls easy to reach!"

ROTFLMAO!! :):)

....IMVHO, not good taste slamming an add in, in the middle of someone's personal trauma .....:mad:
 

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I think this is a very timely discussion due to the fact that many of us LT owners are, shall we say, mature. I had a PSA test 2 years ago with a reading of 5.2. Had a biopsy and no problems but that 4 day wait for the test results was horrible.

My doctor suggests that I get my check each year in late winter when I have NOT been riding the LT or Buck the Wonder Horse on a regular basis.
 

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Key to Survival in any Life Threatening Equation

Woolly, you missed an apostrophe between the e and the s on someones.(sic)
I doubt this will turn out to be cancerous but if it does attitude will make all the difference in beating it. GeneralMillIron is has what it takes and I celebrate his approach and sense of humor along with Ron.
 

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Gives me cause for some relief!

I'm 59, and my urologist just had me move my next checkup to 6 months from the normal year due to a rise in my PSA. It's always been less than 2.0, but last month posted a 3.2--not dangerously high, but worrisome given my history of low PSAs. Knowing that I've put 15,000 miles on my Harley Wide Glide this summer might help explain the rise in the PSA. Next appointment is in March, so I won't have done much riding here in upstate NY prior to THAT appointment. Hope to see the reading go back down--will report back then. Meanwhile, I'm starting a 4,000-mile cross-country ride tomorrow on my LT!

Bill
 

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While we are at it....

I would be remiss if I did not add to all the good advice regarding prostate cancer with my own admonition to my fellow LT riders. Don't hesitate to get a colonoscopy!

I had mine almost four years ago. Unfortunately I had stage IV colon cancer that soon metatastasized to my liver and lungs. To make a long story short, after two colon resections, three liver tumor ablations, and four separate courses of chemotherapy I still ride almost every day. I even ride to and from chemo. Take it from me cancer sucks and the advice that has been given can help you avoid it.

OK, enough medical talk, we've got motorcycles to ride.

Dell
 

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Take my advice from a 54 year old....GET THE BIOPSY! I had the same issues...the doc did a biopsy in 2000 due to the PSA climbing to 3.2 and it came back negative. We checked the PSA twice thinking outside activites or sexual activity might have skewed the results. It did'nt matter...the PSA was still the same. The PSA climed to 4.9 in 2004 so we had to do the biopsy thing again. I did'nt lose a minute of sleep over it (figuring it would be negative again). Went to the follow visit 10 days later and he told me I had cancer. SH--!!!!! I cried on the way home....
Anhow..in February of 05 they did a new type of radiation treatment on me that kept me in the hosptal for 2 days. They did 4 treatments during that time....hollow catheters were put into the prostate from different angles, 8 hrs later they repeated the process from different angles. No radioactive "rice pellets" were left in me. My PSA is now 0.09 and all my functions work fine. They credit it all to the fact that they caught it early and I got in early for the surgury. Its not gonna go away on its own, and if it goes further into surrounding tissue the radiation treatments you have to take later have more chance of causing damage to the bowel, urinary tract etc etc. I don't even give it a thought anymore unless someone asks how I'm doing etc. Just don't put it off.....
 

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Been down this route with the high PSA levels.

Started with my very 1st psa test about 10 yrs ago at age 55. I had a needle biopsy that came back negative. Kept a close watch on the psa every 6 months to a year. After a few years it went up some more and once again another biopsy that came back negative. At the same time it was noted that my prostate was enlarging (which can cause the psa to go up). After a little over 9 years and on the 4th biopsy I was found to have Prostate Cancer. The Doc says I probably had it all along but the biopsy just did not hit it.

I did what you did and that is to talk about it with as many people as you can for you will get lots of options. I looked at all my options and since the prostate was enlarged radioactive seeds would not work for me. There are some other radiation options I could have taken. I talked to others that have had their prostate removed and none of them are sorry they went that route. I decided surgery is what I wanted and I am very happy I took that choice. All the nerves were sparred (saved & reconnected) so everything works. Mine was still detected EARLY after all these years of tests. It has been over 7 months since my surgery. I was riding my MC after 6 weeks.

The idea that motorcycling causes Prostate cancer is about the most ridiculous thing ever heard of. There is nothing in a person's life style that can cause it except for maybe the very water that we drink.

It can be in our genes. Father, brother, or uncle that may have had it. In my case there is no instance of a relative having had it.

Some men can have an extremely high PSA and never have pros. cancer. Others can have a very low PSA and indeed have PC.

Just keep a watch on it and do the biopsy if requested by your Doc.
 

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Psa

Do a search of papers and abstracts written by Dr. Catalona. I believe he is a urologist at Johns Hopkins. He established the normal range values for PSA based on age. He has shown that PSA levels do raise as we age.

It is also prudent to follow an elevated PSA (some researchers feel both should be performed at the same time, whenever a PSA is ordered, because a normal range PSA can on occasion be linked to a cancerous condition) with a free PSA. More research is showing the total PSA to free PSA ratios are good predictors of prostatic cancer vs benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The gold standard is still prostatic biopsy followed by whatever treatments are felt necessary to eradicate the disease if it is present.

Best of luck to you!
 

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I am glad this was brought up.

I'm glad I someone brought this up. I just had a my yearly physical on Monday, 11/21. At my last physical, two years ago, my PSA was at 4. It now stands at 8 and I ride the bike at least 90% of the time. It will be something I mention when I make my referral trip to the urologist. And like someone else said, I'll take whatever treatment that is needed. I want to hang around with this group for as long as I can.
 

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Thank you all!!

Prostate problems are very personal and sometimes very secret. I thank all who were willing to share their personal experiences in this public forum to enlighten us all. We sometimes forget that our personal experiences may be shared by many others and that simply letting others know about our experiences; that may save someones life.

I truly feel honored to be part of such a brotherhood. Thanks again for your openness and willingness to share. Scheduled for blood work and PSA testing next week.
 

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If I might wade in. While the prostate or urology is not me area of expertise(it is below the waist), I didn't sleep through those lectures in medical school either. Regarding the PSA test. The PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen is a substance produced by the prostate and it's use as a cancer screening test is very limited, because it has a high false positive rate and a high false negative rate. It is used more as a followup study. So if you have a physical and your prostate is a bit big, they might then check a PSA. if it is normal or high a repeat at some interval, perhaps a year might be in order. If it then changes, this might be cause for ramping up an evaluation. A literature search might reveal a link between motorcycle riding and an elevated PSA. I have heard nothing about motorcycle riding causing prostate cancer.
Regarding screening tests, there are many, some are more effective than others. The ones that are most effective are generally the ones that insurance companies will pay for for asymptomatic screening, colonoscopy comes to mind. The best screening tool is a regular evaluation by a competent physician coupled with maintaining a proper weight, a well balance nutritional diet and a high level of physical fitness.
So ride on men!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
More to follow...

I am going to have my PSA re-tested tomorrow (6 weeks, no bike)... I will keep you all posted as to the result. I agree with the other comments about not keeping such matters private. Our need for privacy may well be killing us...
 
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