Prostate Cancer: Can You Reduce Risk Through Exercise?

English: Micrograph showing prostatic acinar a...
Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Gleason pattern 4. H&E stain. Prostate currettings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An increasing body of evidence points to exercise as a strong means to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. This holds true for the incidence of lethal prostate cancer (as opposed to the more quite/indolent type) and for decreasing the progression of the disease for those who have it. The effect is not small.

The Research: Stamfer and others tracked roughly 2700 men with prostate cancer for four years. Those who reported at least three hours a week of vigorous activity had a 61 percent lower risk of dying of prostate cancer than those who got less than an hour a week.

We saw a strong association with a lower risk of lethal disease, observed the author, Meir Stampfer (Harvard School of Public Health).

Still, with exercise, one wonders whether inactivity causes men to die or whether illness causes men to be inactive. So researchers looked 1455 men in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE) study. The study looked at men who have been diagnosed with – and in most cases, treated for – prostate cancer to see whose cancer is more likely to progress (manifest as a rise in PSA and/or spread to distant sites such as the bones).

Among men in CapSURE, those who walked briskly for t least three hours a week had a 57 percent lower rate of progression than those who walked at an easy pace for less than three house a week. Very few men in the study reported more vigorous exercise such as running or biking. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter, and you know what you need to do!

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

Reference: J Clin Oncol 29;726:2011; Cancer Res 71:3889, 2011.

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