Brisk walking may lower risk of prostate Ca progression

June 16, 2011

Brisk walking may lower the risk of prostate cancer progression, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

Brisk walking may lower the risk of prostate cancer progression, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

The research team found that men who walked briskly-at least 3 miles per hour-for at least 3 hours per week after diagnosis were nearly 60% less likely to develop biochemical markers of cancer recurrence or need a second round of treatment for prostate cancer.

"The important point was the intensity of the activity-the walking had to be brisk for men to experience a benefit," said first author Erin Richman, ScD, of the University of California, San Francisco. "Our results provide men with prostate cancer something they can do to improve their prognosis."

The study, which was published in Cancer Research (2011; 71:3889-95), included 1,455 men who were a subset of a larger group of 14,000 prostate cancer patients enrolled in the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE). It complements the findings of an earlier study showing that physical activity after diagnosis could reduce disease-related mortality in a distinct population of men with prostate cancer. The new study, researchers say, is the first to focus on the effect of physical activity after diagnosis on early indications of disease progression, such as a rise in PSA levels.

"Our work suggests that vigorous physical activity or brisk walking can have a benefit at the earlier stages of the disease," said co-author June M. Chan, ScD, of the University of California, San Francisco.

The researchers added that the benefit of physical activity was independent of the participants’ age at diagnosis, type of treatment, and clinical features of their disease at diagnosis.