Men's health * 50+ health

Exercise increases prostate cancer survival

Exercise can help cancer fight Half an hour a week has an impact

Fifteen minutes of exercise a day can increase survival rates in patients with prostate cancer, new research has found.

"We saw benefits at very attainable levels of activity," said Dr. Stacey A. Kenfield, from Harvard School of Public Health who led the study.

"The results suggest that men with prostate cancer should do some physical activity for their overall health."

Researchers looked at the physical activity levels for 2,686 patients before and after diagnosis of prostate cancer. Patients at an advanced stage of prostate cancer were excluded.

Men who engaged in about half an hour a week of moderate exercise - jogging, biking, swimming or playing tennis - per week - had a 35% lower risk of dying overall.

Although walking had no effect on dying of prostate cancer specifically, more strenuous exercise did.

Men who exercised five or more hours every week were found to be at lower risk of dying from their prostate cancer.

"This is the first large population study to examine exercise in relation to mortality in prostate cancer survivors," said Kenfield.

Researchers aren't sure of the exact molecular effects exercise has on prostate cancer, but exercise is known to influence a number of hormones believed to stimulate prostate cancer, boost immune function and reduce inflammation.

The findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference.

This article was published on Wed 16 December 2009

Image © Marcel Mooij -

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