According to new research study, prostate cancer patients who maintain a moderate-to-high level of exercise may improve their overall chance of survival. The study was conducted by The American Cancer Society which included more than 10,000 men, aged 50 to 93, who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2011 with localized prostate cancer. Participants provided researchers with information about their physical activity before and after their diagnosis.
Researchers discovered that men who had the highest levels of exercise prior to their diagnosis were 30% less likely to die from the disease in comparison to men who engaged in the least amount of exercise. In addition, researchers also found that the amount of exercise was directly proportional to the scope of benefits received. Men who had the greatest exercise levels had a 34% reduction in death, compared to those with little to no exercise.
Lead researcher Ying Wang explained,
“Our 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 walking as the only form of exercise. They found that walking for four to six hours a week prior to diagnosis was associated with a reduction in death by one-third. However, walking following a prostate cancer diagnosis didn’t show any significant reduction in death rates.Wang also added,
“The American Cancer Society recommends adults engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. These results indicate that following these guidelines might be associated with better prognosis.”
Dr. Manish Vira, of Northwell Health’s Smith Institute for Urology, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. further added that the study, “Adds to the growing body of evidence that regular exercise is associated with better prostate cancer outcomes,” he said. “Multiple studies have shown improvements in other cancers as well, including breast, colon and lung cancer.”
Wang believes that further research is necessary to determine whether their findings might vary among patients based on their age at diagnosis, smoking history, and body weight. Researchers presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in New Orleans.