Brisk walking could improve prostate cancer outcomes

Men with prostate cancer can improve their outcomes if they walk briskly for at least three hours a week following their diagnosis, according to a recent study in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"It appears that men who walk briskly after their diagnosis may delay or even prevent progression of their disease," said lead researcher Erin Richman, Sc.D., a research associate at the University of California, San Francisco.

Richman said the evidence adds to the growing body of literature that suggests walking regularly may prevent a variety of adverse health problems, including and certain types of cancer.

"Walking is something everyone can and should do to improve their health," she said.

Richman and colleagues observed 1,455 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer that had not spread beyond the prostate. These patients reported their by questionnaire about 27 months after their diagnosis and prior to any evidence of or second treatment.

Researchers recorded 117 events, including biochemical recurrences (elevations in PSA), secondary treatments, and prostate cancer-specific death. They found that men who walked briskly for at least three hours a week had a 57 percent lower rate of progression of disease than men who walked at an easy pace for less than three hours a week.

"The benefit from walking truly depended on how quickly you walked. Walking at an easy pace did not seem to have any benefit," said Richman.

This collaborative group also recently reported in a separate cohort of men with prostate cancer that vigorous physical activity after diagnosis was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer-specific death.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of among men, and more than 2.2 million men in the United States currently live with the disease. In 2010, there were 217,000 new cases.

Stephen M. Schwartz, Ph.D., a full member at the Fred Hutchinson Center and a senior editor of Cancer Research, said this study is important because research on the role of physical activity in prostate cancer has been relatively sparse.

"We have had some studies that show a reduced risk of developing , but this is strong evidence of a benefit after someone is diagnosed," said Schwartz.

Related Stories

Exercise may lower risk of death for men with prostate cancer

Jan 05, 2011

A new study of men with prostate cancer finds that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of overall mortality and of death due to prostate cancer. The Harvard School of Public Health and University of California, ...

Exercise reduces death rate in prostate cancer patients

Dec 08, 2009

As little as 15 minutes of exercise a day can reduce overall mortality rates in patients with prostate cancer, according to findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention ...

Recommended for you

New breast cancer imaging method promising

4 hours ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

4 hours ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

4 hours ago

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

User comments