Okay, put me in a straight jacket. My next routine PSA test (prostate specific antigen) happens in just a few weeks. Oops, did I say routine? These tests never seem routine. They feel monumentally important every time. A low PSA means I’ll live; I high one means I’ll die. Not really, of course, but that’s how it feels, even four years after my so-far-so-good proton radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
My PSA paranoia persists, so once again I will go to the extreme limits of making sure I avoid any and all activities that might irritate or aggravate my hypersensitive and highly revered prostate. It rules, and I worship it. If I treat it well, it will reward me with a good PSA score. I would bow to my prostate if that didn’t require contortions I am not capable of. I am at its mercy.
… my list of avoidances is excessive, maybe even slightly ridiculous, and you might think I’ve slipped over the edge …My first priority during the weeks leading up to this and every PSA test is to diligently, prudently, and unerringly do nothing to upset and incur the wrath of the all-powerful prostate. I pledge to do whatever it takes, and more importantly, not do what I shouldn’t. Admittedly, my list of avoidances is excessive, maybe even slightly ridiculous, and you might think I’ve slipped over the edge with this obsession. Nevertheless, here are five more things I will add to the list in my earlier post, 5 PSA-Spiking Activities Often Overlooked. Prior to your next PSA test, you should engage in the following activities at your own prostate’s peril.
Fortunately, you can easily reschedule a haircut, but please don’t forget to do so. When you sit in the chair and your barber or stylist begins cranking up the height by stomping on the foot pedal, you may recall the bump, bump, bump effect that each pump on the pedal has. This pump, pump, pump of the pedal will cause a corresponding jump, jump, jump in your PSA. Therefore, for the week prior to a PSA test a comb-over is acceptable, but a haircut is not.
Clearly you cannot participate in brutal contact sports like football, hockey, wrestling, and sometimes baseball. But if you think that hanging up your hockey stick for a week or so prior to a PSA test and switching to a tamer sport like air hockey, ping pong, or golf (yes, even golf) you’ll be okay, you are mistaken. All sports are off limits. The competition-induced increase in your adrenaline causes an internal stimulation that does not bypass the prostate. Describing this phenomenon in non-technical terms is difficult, but suffice it to say that your prostate will be just as agitated and stimulated as your mind. Sorry, but sports are out.
Bunko competitors are deadly serious about winning. They pound the table, jump and down from their seats, and behave more as if they were at a football game.On the surface, Bunko is a safe, sedentary pastime, but a closer look reveals it to be not always safe and not totally sedentary. My first experience with Bunko occurred while staying at Third & Main in Jacksonville. I had not even heard of Bunko, but was invited to join a game in progress with other tenants. It was described to me as a rather tame game of dice, but alas, I was in for a surprise. Bunko competitors are deadly serious about winning. They pound the table, jump up and down from their seats, and behave more as if they were at a football game. Sure enough, I was soon behaving in similar fashion. This so-called game is definitely not relaxing to the mind, the body, the prostate, or your PSA. Beware of Bunko at PSA time. It’s just not worth the risk.
If you are in a college town, especially in the summer, do not venture within a ten mile radius of the campus. For many men this can be devastating. Although innocent, the scantily clad coeds doing little more than commuting between buildings for classes can stimulate not only memories of our own college days and activities, but also our prostate. Even a cold shower will not be sufficient to counteract the effect this can have on PSA production, so be safe and take a detour.
Regardless of the weapon used or the caliber of the ammo, the unavoidable recoil will shake up all of your internal organs, including your prostate.The day before a PSA test is not the time for deer hunting, skeet shooting, or vigilantism. Regardless of the weapon used or the caliber of the ammo, the unavoidable recoil will shake up all of your internal organs, including your prostate. Think about three small metal balls hanging shoulder to shoulder. When a ball on one end is pulled away from the center ball, released, and hits the center ball, the ball on the other end swings away, and then returns to hit the center ball, etc. This is precisely what recoil does to your prostate. It will bounce into the bladder which bounces into a kidney, which then bounces back to the bladder and into the prostate, etc. You can practice aiming, but do not fire.
There must be countless other activities we should avoid to help ensure low PSA levels. What’s on your list? Please help me achieve a low PSA, and send me an email with your advice. Thanks!