Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Sustained Bicycle Riding Might Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer in Men


(Photo : Reuters) Bike riders

A new study that suggests a link between serious bike riding and an increase in risk of prostate cancer has led to warnings to slow down on bike riding.

What research there is on the connection between bike riding and prostate cancer has focused on the knowledge that bike seats are the primary cause of this link. There is some evidence the trauma of bike riding for men might harm the prostate and lead to prostatitis, or the inflammation of the prostate.

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This new study from the University College London found that men riding a bicycle more than 8.5 hours a week were more likely to have prostate cancer than others that rode less often.

This finding also had to do more with the design of bicycle seats. Some bicycle seats can put pressure on the prostate area when a man rides for long periods over time. This pressure hurts the prostate and might lead to prostatitis.

The pressure from frequent bike riding might also increase the risk for infertility and erectile dysfunction, said some studies.

The researchers that did the University College London study cautioned, however, their findings weren't definitive enough since it relied only on self-reported data.

Study lead author Dr. Milo Hollingworth said the findings were "difficult to interpret." He said the health benefits of bike riding "are much more important" than the results of the study.

A Swedish study conducted between 1998 and 2007 found that lifetime physical activity reduces the incidence of prostate cancer. This study followed 45,887 men aged 45 to 79 and concluded the risk of developing prostate cancer was reduced by seven percent with each 30 minute period of walking or bicycling a day.

Symptoms of prostatitis include frequent urination, slow or incomplete flow of urine, pain while urinating, erectile dysfunction, lower back or abdominal pain, and pain in areas near the prostate, such as the scrotum, urethra, and between the genitals and anus.

Worldwide, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in men. In 2012 it occurred in 1.1 million men and caused 307,000 deaths.

It was the most common cancer in males in 84 countries, occurring more commonly in the developed world.

Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include urinary problems, a decrease in the stream of urine, discomfort in the pelvic area, erectile dysfunction, blood in the urine or semen, and pain in the lower back, hips or thighs.

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