Prostate Cancer Survival May Be Boosted With Regular Exercise

Researchers find that men who exercised the most had the best outcomes.

A new study suggests that sticking to a moderate or intense exercise regimen may improve a man’s odds of surviving prostate cancer.

The study, conducted by the American Cancer Society, included more than 10,000 men, aged 50 to 93, who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2011 with localized prostate cancer, which means that it had not spread beyond the gland. The men in the study provided researchers with information about their physical activity before and after their diagnosis.

According to the team of researchers, men with the highest levels of exercise before their diagnosis were 30 percent less likely to die of their prostate cancer than those who exercised the least.

The men who had the highest level of exercise seemed to confer an even bigger benefit: these men had the highest levels of exercise after diagnosis were 34 percent less likely to die of prostate cancer than those who did the least exercise.

The study results support evidence that prostate cancer survivors should adhere to physical activity guidelines, and suggest that physicians should consider promoting a physically active lifestyle to their prostate cancer patients.

The researchers also examined the effects of walking as the only form of exercise. They found that walking for four to six hours a week before diagnosis was also associated with a one-third lower risk of death from prostate cancer. But timing was key, since walking after a diagnosis was not associated with a statistically significant lower risk of death.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. Physical activity has been found to help all aspects of health.

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