Exercise could improve prostate cancer survival

A new study backed by Cancer Research UK will look into the health benefits of exercise for men with prostate cancer.  It is a known fact that exercise keeps our bodies healthy, but the affect it has on prostate cancer has not been researched. This new, year long trial will analyze men who already have prostate cancer, and follow them while they undergo weekly aerobic sessions by researchers to explore the possible health benefits. If results are significant, then the year-long study will lead to a full research trial. 

Other research suggests that men who are physically active after being diagnosed with prostate cancer have a better rate of cancer survival than men who aren't active.  Researchers don’t know exactly why this is, but they surmise that exercise positively affects DNA repair in the body and might affect how some genes regulate cancer cell growth. If the new UK study shows positive outcomes, exercise regiments may start to be used as a form of treatment for long term prostate cancer care.  The research team is hopeful, as some participants have seen a drop in weight and PSA since starting aerobic exercise for the trial.   The study developers hope that this study can help develop a clearer understanding of how and why physical activity benefits men with prostate cancer.  Furthermore, it can act as a good motivator to keep men following a healthy lifestyle after cancer treatment.  

If you don’t know much about prostate cancer, here are some key facts about the disease:

  • Average age at prostate cancer diagnosis is 66
  • African American men are 70 percent more likely than white Caucasian men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • A family history of prostate cancer ups risk significantly, especially when more than one family member is diagnosed
  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome can increase risk by 57 percent; they can also signify increased prostate cancer tumor volume and recovery risks
  • Diet modifications can be effective in reducing risk, particularly adding cancer-fighters like lycopene, green tea, fish, cabbage, and coffee -- and limiting red meats, dairy, and high-fat foods
  • Prostate cancer screening tools continue to improve: genetic analysis may soon precede the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), digital rectal exam (DRE), and prostate biopsy process
  • The PSA test is the best way to establish a prostate health baseline; Dr. Samadi encourages men to get their first PSA blood test by age 40
  • Robotic prostate surgery remains a leading treatment option, with highly successful recovery and quality of life results when performed by an experienced surgeon