Physical Activity May Improve Prostate Cancer Prognosis

Why exercise improves prostate cancer outcomes
Why exercise improves prostate cancer outcomes

A moderate to high level of physical activity before and after diagnosis may improve prognosis in patients with non-metastatic prostate cancer, a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2016 has shown.1

Because previous research has demonstrated that vigorous physical exercise may reduce the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality, researchers sought to investigate the associations of prediagnostic and postdiagnostic recreational physical activity and sitting time with prostate cancer-specific mortality among men with nonmetastatic disease.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 10 067 men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer who participated in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. The men reported the amount of time they spent engaging in recreational physical activity, including walking, dancing, bicycling, aerobics, jogging, and running, and the amount of time spent sitting.

Compared with patients who engaged in fewer than 3.5 hours per week of recreational physical activity, 17.5 or more hours per week of prediagnostic activity was associated with a 30% reduced risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality. The same level of activity performed after diagnosis was associated with a 34% lower risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality.

In addition, researchers found that walking 4 or more hours per week before diagnosis was associated with a lower risk of cancer-related death among men with walking as the only form of leisure time physical activity. Of note, sitting time was not associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality.

“Our results support evidence that prostate cancer survivors should adhere to physical activity guidelines, and suggest that physicians should consider promoting a physically active lifestyle to their prostate cancer patients,” said Ying Wang, PhD, senior epidemiologist in the Epidemiology Research Program at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and lead author of the study.

“The American Cancer Society recommends adults engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. These results indicate that following these guidelines might be associated with better prognosis,” Wang said.

REFERENCE

1. Wang Y, Jacobs EJ, Gansler T, et al. Physical activity, sitting time and prostate cancer specific mortality: The Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Oral presentation at: AACR Annual Meeting 2016; April 16-20, 2016; New Orleans, LA. Abstract 1736.

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