Recently there has been more research looking at physical activity after cancer diagnosis and long-term survival rates. Across the board, the research has shown that exercise improves quality of life of cancer survivors and may have some long-term impact on decreasing recurrence of the cancer itself.
Prostate Cancer and Exercise
As we come to an end of “MO”vember 2016, I wanted to look more specifically at prostate cancer and exercise. Some new research has been published in the last year that shows similar and promising results.
One study looked at men who were diagnosed 2 or more years prior. (http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0302283815012415/1-s2.0-S0302283815012415-main.pdf?_tid=e0ba44b2-b016-11e6-9a1f-00000aab0f6b&acdnat=1479752478_4e7e65ccd4a39d3fc91b5508fb3e15b4). The researchers then compared the men who were physically active and those men who were sedentary.
Does Physical Activity Increase Cancer Survival Rate?
Over the course of the 17-year study, the men who were physically active had improved survival rate overall. This may have been from an improvement in overall health or a decreased risk of recurrence of the cancer itself. The study also found that men who were active after cancer diagnosis had improved quality of life. However, those men that were active before AND after cancer diagnosis had the best long-term survival rates.
Another study looked more specifically at the types of exercise that had the best effect in quality of life after diagnosis. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0302283815012415). The quality of life measures the researchers looked at included urinary incontinence/retention, bowel and sexual function, and vitality. The most effective exercise was 5 hours of aerobic exercise per week. Men who walked at a normal or faster pace for more than 90 minutes a week experienced improved quality of life in the measures noted above.
It is exciting to see how exercise can have such a positive effect on quality of life for men after prostate cancer. It is consistent with other research that has come out over the last few years with improved quality of life after treatment.
With all of this in mind, Happy “MO”vember to all the men out there! Keep on moving!
-Jenn Cumming PT, MSPT, CLT, WCS