Can Covid mimic prostate cancer symptoms?
In a recent commentary from Medscape News, the author of an article experienced a sudden spike of over 2 points in their prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels within just 90 days, accompanied by severe bone pain. As a member of the American Urological Association, they knew to seek immediate consultation with their urologist. After a thorough consultation and blood test, the author's PSA levels were found to have risen from 7.8 to 9.9. The author was alarmed and worried that their tumor had become aggressive. However, a subsequent blood test a week later showed a return to their normal PSA level of 7.6.
The author then turned to research and discovered that there were known triggers that could cause a sudden spike in PSA, including a recent digital rectal exam or prolonged bike riding. However, in this case, the author had not experienced any of these triggers. Further research led the author to a study from Turkey which found that COVID-19 infection could also cause a surge in PSA levels for up to 6 months. The author had tested positive for COVID-19 four weeks prior to their elevated PSA reading. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34626600/
The study helped to explain the drop in the author's PSA levels to 8.5, just two weeks after the initial spike. The study of 91 men with benign prostatic hypertrophy by researchers in Turkey found that PSA spiked from 0 to 5 points during the COVID infection period and up to 2 points higher 3 months after the infection had cleared.