Exercise benefits for prostate cancer not the same for all men

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Exercise could lower prostate cancer risk, but only for Caucasian men.
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Past studies have shown men might lower their risk of prostate cancer with regular exercise. But now a new study suggests African American men may not get the same exercise benefits for thwarting the disease as Caucasian men, though the reasons are unclear.

Caucasian men and African Americans may differ in the way prostate cancer develops. Researchers for the investigation say more studies are needed to understand the disparity.

The study found African-American men, who are known to be at higher risk for prostate cancer, developed more aggressive tumors, compared to Caucasian men who engaged in the same amount of reported exercise.

For the study, Lionel L. Bañez, MD, of the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and his colleagues surveyed 307 men about to undergo prostate biopsy.

Researchers classified exercise levels among the men as sedentary, mildly active, moderately active, and highly active; 164 men surveyed were white; 143 were African-American.

The researchers look at the grade of prostate tumor for aggressive forms among the men who developed cancer to see if exercise had an influence.

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Men who exercised were 13 percent less likely to have prostate cancer that would grow rapidly and spread. The relationship between exercise and reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer was stronger in Caucasian men compared to black men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to Caucasian men that could stem from genetic variances.

Recommendations for prostate cancer screening remain controversial. Speak with your doctor about your family history and personal risk factors. Cancer caught early carries the best prognosis.

The current study is published early online in the journal CANCER.

Bañez said the finding could mean African American men don’t benefit from exercise the same as Caucasian men. He suggests larger studies to find out why exercise doesn’t seem to help the chances of prostate cancer for black men.

Source:
CANCER
11 FEB 2013
DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27791

Image credit: Morguefile

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