Vigorous Exercise cuts Chances of Dying from Diagnosed Prostate Cancer

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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Vigorous exercise is found to lower the chances of dying after prostate cancer by 46 percent.

Exercise lowers the chances of dying from any cause, but in the study, men who performed vigorous exercise following a diagnosis of prostate cancer were found to have the lowest risk of dying from the disease.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, included 2,705 men diagnosed with prostate cancer who were part of the 18-year Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. In the study, exercise and prostate cancer deaths were compared among men who reported how much time they spent performing physical activity such as walking, running, biking, swimming, sports and working outdoors.

The findings showed that any type of physical activity and exercise reduced the risk of dying. Men who reported walking 90 minutes a week at a normal or brisk pace had a 46% reduced chance of dying from any cause, compared to those who walked less.

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Harvard School of Public Health and University of California, San Francisco researchers who conducted the study say only vigorous exercise reduced the chances of dying from prostate cancer.

"Our results suggest that men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer progression after a diagnosis of prostate cancer by adding physical activity to their daily routine," said Stacey Kenfield, lead author of the study and a Harvard School of Public Health researcher. "This is good news for men living with prostate cancer who wonder what lifestyle practices to follow to improve cancer survival."

The finding that vigorous exercise helps men survive prostate cancer diagnosis adds to the benefit of regular physical activity, and has recently been linked to colon cancer survival.

Journal of Clinical Oncology: doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.31.5226

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