Exercise may lower death risk for men with prostate Ca

January 27, 2011

Physical activity is associated with a lower risk of overall mortality and death due to prostate cancer, say researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and the University of California, San Francisco.

Physical activity is associated with a lower risk of overall mortality and death due to prostate cancer, say researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and the University of California, San Francisco.

Men who worked out more vigorously had the lowest risk of dying from the disease, added the authors, led by Stacey Kenfield, ScD, of the Harvard School of Public Health.

"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 Dr. Kenfield. "This is good news for men living with prostate cancer who wonder what lifestyle practices to follow to improve cancer survival."

The study was conducted in 2,705 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study over an 18-year period. The participants reported the average time per week they spent performing physical activity.

The results showed that both non-vigorous and vigorous activity were beneficial for overall survival. Compared with men who walked less than 90 minutes per week at an easy pace, those who walked 90 or more minutes per week at a normal to very brisk pace had a 46% lower risk of dying from any cause.

Only vigorous activity-defined as more than 3 hours per week-was associated with reduced prostate cancer mortality. Men who did vigorous activity had a 61% lower risk of prostate cancer-specific death compared with men who did less than 1 hour per week of vigorous activity.

“We observed benefits at very attainable levels of activity, and our results suggest that men with prostate cancer should do some physical activity for their overall health, even if it is a small amount, such as 15 minutes of activity per day of walking, jogging, biking, or gardening,” Dr. Kenfield said.

Results from the study were published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Jan. 4, 2011).