If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, regular brisk walking can help delay or even stop progression of the disease, scientists from the University of California reported in the journal Cancer Research. They added that regular brisk walking has been found in various studies to have several health benefits.

Erin Richman, Sc.D., said:

It appears that men who walk briskly after their diagnosis may delay or even prevent progression of their disease. Walking is something everyone can and should do to improve their health"

Richamn and team gathered data on 1,455 prostate cancer patients whose tumor remained localized. They completed a questionnaire 27 months after their initial diagnosis which included details of their physical activity. They completed the questionnaire before any evidence of recurrence or second treatment.

The scientists wrote that there were 117 events, including PSA elevations, further treatments, bone metastasis and deaths caused by prostate cancer. Those who walked briskly at least three hours a week had a 57% lower cancer progression rate compared to other patients.

Richman said:

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

The authors added that a separate cohort of men had found that regular physical activity significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer specific death among patients diagnosed with the disease.

There were 217,000 new prostate cancer diagnoses in the USA last year. Over 2.2 patients live with prostate cancer in the country. It is the second leading cause of cancer death among males.

Stephen M. Schwartz, Ph.D., a senior editor of Cancer Research, said:

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

"Physical Activity after Diagnosis and Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression: Data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor"
Erin L. Richman, Stacey A. Kenfield, Meir J. Stampfer, Alan Paciorek, Peter R. Carroll, and June M. Chan
Cancer Res Published Online First May 24, 2011; doi:10.1158/0008-5472N-10-3932



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