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Brisk walking could help beat prostate cancer

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Walking benefits early prostate cancer outcome.

Brisk walking could help men with early stage prostate cancer by slowing progression of the disease and preventing recurrence, finds an investigation.

In a study that included 1,455 U.S. men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, researchers noted a 60 percent lower chance of prostate cancer recurrence and need for a second round of treatment for those who walked briskly, at least 3 hours a week.

The study authors say the link between brisk walking and improved outcomes for prostate cancer was also note in previous studies from University of California - San Francisco researchers that showed physical activity reduce prostate cancer deaths. The finding was published earlier this year.

"Our work suggests that vigorous physical activity or brisk walking can have a benefit at the earlier stages of the disease," said, June Chan, ScD, who collaborated with Harvard School of Public Health researchers for the previous study.

Researchers recommend brisk walking for men with early disease

The study shows men diagnosed with prostate cancer have something they can do to improve their prognosis”, explains Erin Richman, ScD, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF and first author on the study.

The finding lends support to the benefits of physical activity for men with early stage prostate cancer. Dr. Chan emphasizes brisk walking at 3mph to raise heart rate is important.

The authors also note starting activity at time of diagnosis is important. Once prostate cancer spreads, men tend to decrease their activity levels from the disease.

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The finding comes from men that were part of the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE™) study – a registry tracking long-term outcomes of men diagnosed with the disease.

The study found brisk walking can improve prostate cancer outcomes, which was found to be true regardless of age at time of diagnosis and clinical features of the disease.

Studies have shown physical activity and exercise improve colon and breast cancer outcomes.

For men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, walking briskly can help beat the disease, in addition to keeping cardiovascular health intact.

The current study is the first to show brisk walking can lower the chances or prostate cancer recurrence by 60 percent. Dr. Chan recommends the activity for all men diagnosed with early stages of the disease.

Cancer Research: doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3932
“Physical Activity after Diagnosis and Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression: Data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor”
Erin L. Richman et al

Image credit: Morguefile