Brisk walking could help men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer reduce their risk of progression of the disease, according to a new study.
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who walked briskly-at least three miles per hour-for at least three hours per week after diagnosis were nearly 60 percent less likely to develop biochemical markers of cancer recurrence or need a second round of treatment for prostate cancer.
"The important point was the intensity of the activity - the walking had to be brisk for men to experience a benefit," said Erin Richman, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF who is the first author on the study, published today in the journal Cancer Research.
"Our results provide men with prostate cancer something they can do to improve their prognosis."
The participants in this study were selected were a subset of a larger group of 14,000 men with prostate cancer who are enrolled in a long-term, nationwide prostate cancer registry study known as the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor, led by Peter Carroll, who is the chair of the Urology Department at UCSF and an author of the study.
A particular strength of this study is the focus on early recurrence of prostate cancer, which occurs before men may experience painful symptoms of prostate cancer metastases, a frequent cause for men to decrease their usual physical activity.
The study was published recently in the journal Cancer Research.