AACR logoThe benefits of exercising have been highlighted by various studies in the past. Here’s one more news pertaining to the topic.

A new study by investigators suggests that exercise could reduce the rate of death among prostate cancer patients. The finding suggests that a week of three MET hours of physical activity was found to decrease the overall death rates. Also strenuous exercise for five hours a week lowered cancer-specific death rates. The experts further add that even exercising for as little as 15 minutes a day could probably lower the overall mortality rates in patients with prostate cancer.

Physical activity levels 2,686 patients enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study were assessed as part of the distinct study. They were evaluated both prior to and post diagnosis while men having metastases at diagnosis were excluded.

Apparently a 35 percent lowered risk of mortality rate was observed in men who were involved in three or more hours of Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (MET) a week. This was claimed to be equivalent to jogging, biking, swimming or playing tennis for about a half-hour per week

“We saw benefits at very attainable levels of activity,” said Stacey A. Kenfield, Sc.D., epidemiology research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “The results suggest that men with prostate cancer should do some physical activity for their overall health.”

Particular to walking, the experts observed that men who walked for four or more hours a week had a 23 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality. This was against men who walked less than 20 minutes per week. For men who walked at a normal to brisk pace for 90 or more minutes, a 51 percent lower risk of death was observed as compared to men who walked less than 90 minutes and at an easy walking pace.

Walking, the experts suggest didn’t seem to show any particular effect on prostate cancer specific mortality. However vigorous exercise did affect it. Besides, men who were involved in five or more hours of powerful physical activity a week had lowered chances of dying from their prostate cancer.

“This is the first large population study to examine exercise in relation to mortality in prostate cancer survivors,” mentioned Kenfield. “Previous studies focused on how exercise affects risk of developing prostate cancer.”

The author explains that though they aren’t sure of the exact molecular effects exercise has on prostate cancer, exercise was known to influence a number of hormones hypothesized to stimulate prostate cancer. in addition to this, it could also boost immune function and reduce inflammation.

The findings have been presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference held from Dec 6 – 9, 2009.